MORTON GROVE, Ill. (AP)—One of baseball’s most talented young pitchers helped the Seattle Mariners stop their 20-game losing streak against AL West opponents. Now they get to face another one.
Seattle (62-69) snapped the longest losing streak in major-league history by a team within its own division with a 2-0 victory over the Angels in Monday’s series opener. Felix Hernandez pitched a five-hitter for his first career shutout in the shortest game in the majors this year at one hour, 51 minutes.
“That was a real special night against a team that has been playing really well,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said.
It was the Mariners’ first victory against an AL West foe since beating Los Angeles 6-2 on June 11 behind Hernandez’s first career complete game, a four-hitter.
Seattle has won five straight for the third time this season.
Los Angeles (69-63) had a seven-game winning streak against Seattle snapped and fell 6 1/2 games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West race.
“We need to be close, three, four games (back) at the most to give us a chance to breathe,” Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera said.
The Angels banged out 43 hits in three games over the weekend against the New York Yankees before being limited to just five singles Monday.
Los Angeles has dropped six of its last nine road games.
Weaver (9-1, 1.92 ERA) will try to get the Angels back on track. His nine-game winning streak to start his career came to an end on Wednesday when he was beaten by Boston 2-1 despite yielding only one run and four hits over six innings.
He failed to become the third pitcher in major league history to win his first 10 decisions as a starter.
“I wasn’t worried about the streak,” Weaver said. “It’s all about going out there and competing and trying to give our team a chance to win the game.”
Los Angeles slugger Vladimir Guerrero had one of his team’s singles Monday to extend his season-high hitting streak to 15 games. Guerrero is batting .424 (25-for-59) with 15 RBIs during his run.
Seattle will start Jarrod Washburn (7-12, 4.37), who is seeking consecutive wins for the first time this season. Washburn was impressive on Thursday, giving up two runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings while striking out a season-high nine batters in a 4-2 victory over the Yankees.
“I’m aggressive with my fastball,” Washburn said. “It’s like facing an All-Star team with their lineup. So maybe some guys tend to be tentative when they pitch to them. But I don’t.”
Washburn has used his aggressive approach to go 2-1 with a 4.44 ERA in four starts against the Angels, for whom he pitched the first eight seasons of his career before signing with Seattle last offseason. He’s has not had success against former teammate Garret Anderson, though, who’s 6-for-12 against him.