Mariners 2, Angels 0

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SEATTLE (AP)—Freddy Garcia was in a jam, trying to protect a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and one out.

Seattle manager Bob Melvin never considered pulling Garcia off the mound, and it turned out to be a great decision.

Garcia threw eight scoreless innings to win his fifth straight start and Mike Cameron had an RBI double as the Mariners beat the Anaheim Angels 2-0 on Wednesday night.

“A lot of times you don’t want to leave your starter on to get the loss, but Freddy was throwing well,” Melvin said. “He was the right guy to get the ground ball in that situation.”

He did exactly that.

Garcia got pinch-hitter Bengie Molina to hit a comebacker. He tossed the ball to catcher Dan Wilson for the force at home, and Wilson fired the ball to Olerud at first for the double play.

“You have to weigh the downside of a double play with the upside of having the player up there that we feel is the best guy to put the ball in play,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. “It didn’t work out.”

The Mariners, who have won eight of their past 11 games, posted their ninth shutout, best in the majors. At 48-22, they have the best record in the majors.

It was the fifth time the World Series champion Angels have been shut out and the second time in four games.

Garcia (8-6) has rebounded from a rocky stretch where he lost three straight starts. He saw his ERA climb to 5.90 after a loss to Kansas City on May 21. Since then, he’s been unbeatable, going 5-0 with a 1.88 ERA.

“He is tough in this ballpark,” Scioscia said. “He threw a slider to Bengie to get the double play. He changed speeds really well and used the changeup well. He threw a terrific ballgame.”

Against Anaheim, Garcia gave up five hits while walking three and striking out three.

“The last five, six, seven starts he ran into a little bit of bad luck,” Cameron said. “Now he’s doing what Freddy always has done. He’s throwing strikes.”

Arthur Rhodes pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in four opportunities. All three have come in the last seven games.

Cameron put the Mariners ahead 1-0 in the sixth, hitting a double down the left field line to drive in Edgar Martinez from second.

Anaheim’s Aaron Sele (3-5) walked Martinez and John Olerud to start the inning, before being relieved by Ben Weber. Cameron lined a shot near third base, and Anaheim’s Scott Spiezio couldn’t reach it in time.

“I got enough of it to keep it inside the line,” Cameron said.

In the eighth, Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly hit Martinez with a pitch. Pinch-runner Luis Ugueto stole second and scored on Randy Winn’s single to right.

Sele, who was 2-1 in his previous three starts, allowed one run and four hits with four strikeouts and four walks. He also hit Seattle’s Carlos Guillen with a pitch, forcing Guillen to the bench with a bruised right elbow in the third.

“I was erratic,” Sele said. “It was a battle. I was behind a lot of guys and walked a lot but I was able to keep the score close.”

Nothing could slow Garcia. When he allowed a one-out single to Darin Erstad in the eighth, Garcia promptly got Garret Anderson to hit into a double play to end the threat.

Garcia improved to 8-2 with a 2.53 ERA over his career against the Angels, beating Anaheim more than any other AL team.

Ichiro Suzuki reached third base twice for Seattle, once on a triple leading off the third and earlier on a single, a groundout by Bret Boone and Olerud’s walk.

But Sele escaped both times, striking out Cameron in the first and gettingMartinez to hit into a double play to end the third.

Notes

Melvin said Guillen will almost certainly need at least two days off with the bruised elbow. … Olympic sprint and long jump champion Carl Lewis threw out the ceremonial first pitch but needed two tries to get the ball to home plate. … Cloudy skies threatened all day, and the roof finally was closed after drizzles began 30 minutes before game time. … Seattle GM Pat Gillick presented Olerud with framed photographs to mark his 2,000th careerhit, which he got Monday.

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