Angels 6, Mariners 1
SEATTLE (AP)—The way things have gone for the Seattle Mariners this season, perhaps something like this was bound to happen.
Still, it was simply beyond belief.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Seattle starter Jamie Moyer said. “We’re finding ways to have things happen that no one’s ever seen before. We’re bringing them full circle.”
The Angels remained within 5 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race. They trail Oakland by two games in the AL West.
Anaheim led 2-1 in the eighth and had runners at second and third with one out when Darin Erstad grounded to Boone, who tried to get Adam Kennedy coming home. Kennedy thought he was about to get nabbed.
Incredibly, the throw hit Erstad’s bat—just in front of catcher Dan Wilson.
“I told Bret we’re going to get 100 balls tomorrow and lay a bat at home plate,” said Moyer (6-12), who lost his 10th straight decision despite 7 1-3 solid innings. “I told him I’ll bet he can’t hit it once. He just laughed.”
The ball bounced over Wilson’s head, two runs scored and Boone was charged with an error. After Vladimir Guerrero was intentionally walked, Garret Anderson hit a shot through Boone’s legs to make it 5-1.
Boone was chuckling at his locker afterward, but not because he was amused.
“I don’t want to joke like it’s, ‘Funny, funny, we lost,”’ he said. “It’s just I can’t believe I made two plays like that in the same inning. I don’t remember doing that in a long, long time.”
Wilson could only shake his head at the ball hitting the bat.
“I’ve never, ever seen anything like it,” he said. “Strange, strange play. What else can you say?”
Kennedy said: “It’s not something you see every day. Tough break for them, good break for us.”
Troy Glaus struck out, but Anaheim added another run when Dallas McPherson stole second and Wilson’s throw went into center field. Guerrero scored, McPherson reached third and Wilson was charged with an error.
“It hits the dirt,” Boone said. “Seems I pick that one up every time. That’s how the inning was going, so of course it’s going to ricochet. … Things like this happen this year, I guess.”
The breakdown on Anaheim’s goofy eighth inning: four unearned runs, one hit, two walks—one intentional—and three Seattle errors. Erstad was credited with one RBI on his grounder.
“We caught a break,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I didn’t know if that would win or lose the game for us, but it was nice at the time.”
Aaron Sele (9-3) won despite five shaky innings, allowing one run on five hits with two strikeouts and five walks. The Mariners stranded eight baserunners when Sele was on the mound.
“We’re getting into the territory where they’re all must-win games,” Sele said. “It was a big win for us and hopefully puts us back in the right direction.”
Ichiro Suzuki was walked intentionally twice. He went 0-for-2 and reached on an error to remain at 233 hits in his chase of George Sisler’s 84-year-old single-season record of 257.
Seattle is 55-91 after going 93-69 last season. The Mariners are the first team since Texas and Houston in 2000 to lose at least 90 games only one year after winning at least 90.
The Angels took a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
Kennedy, at third after a leadoff double and David Eckstein’s sacrifice bunt, was running on contact on Erstad’s grounder up the middle off Moyer.
Boone fielded the ball but didn’t have a good line to the plate and had to throw to first.
“The ball took me two or three steps to my right,” Boone said. “I’m throwing on the run and heading directly toward third. I made the decision that I didn’t think I could have gotten him with my best throw.”
Anaheim split the four-game series, in which it was outhit 26-23.
Sele threw just 54 strikes in 97 pitches. Still, he beat Seattle for the second time this season at Safeco Field.
Suzuki has 16 games remaining to reach the record Sisler set with the St. Louis Browns. Fans booed when Sele intentionally walked him with runners on second and third and two outs in the second, and again with two outs and a runner at second in the fourth.
Boone has 13 errors this season, his most since he had 15 in 2000. Seattle’s 65 errors last year set a major league record for fewest in a season. The Mariners have 94 so far this year. … With 14 intentional walks, Suzuki ranks third in the AL behind co-leaders Rafael Palmeiro and Manny Ramirez (15).