Angels 5, Mariners 2

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SEATTLE (AP)—Paul Byrd struggles with most of the American League. The Seattle Mariners, however, are not a problem for him.

Byrd remained unbeaten against the Mariners, allowing just two runs in 6 2-3 innings as the Los Angeles Angels beat Seattle 5-2 Wednesday, extending their winning streak to four games.

“I needed that one for sanity purposes,” Byrd said. “I felt like some things started to go my way.”

In his previous outing, Byrd (2-3) let a 4-1 lead slip away in a 7-4 loss to Minnesota. Against Oakland on April 23, Byrd lasted just 4 2-3 innings.

But he’s figured out the Mariners. He improved to 5-0 lifetime against them, including 4-0 in Seattle. Both his wins this year have come against Seattle.

“It was a great effort by Paul. His pitches have been just a tick off,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Early on, he felt his groin was a little tight, but he stayed with it and made pitches the whole time he was in there. That was key.”

Vladimir Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the first inning, snapping an 0-for-9 slump, his longest of the year. Chone Figgins had walked before Guerrero’s 411-foot shot to left-center field.

Guerrero reached base four times, including a double off the left-field wall in the fifth, but did not talk afterward.

“He’s not cold for long,” Scioscia said. “He can have three tough at-bats where it looks like he’s struggling, then out of nowhere he’ll take a bad pitch and just drive it. He’s a special player.”

Seattle lost its fifth straight and fell a season-high five games behind the Angels in the AL West. The Mariners’ 3-4-5 hitters—Adrian Beltre, Richie Sexson and Bret Boone—combined to go 4-for-35 in the series.

Mariners catcher Dan Wilson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while running back to first base on a fly ball in the seventh inning and will be put on the 60-day disabled list. Catcher Wiki Gonzalez will be called up from Triple-A Tacoma to take Wilson’s spot on the roster. Gonzalez was hitting .259 with two home runs and six RBIs in Tacoma.

The Angels completed their first three-game sweep of the season and improved to 4-1 against Seattle.

“I thought we swung the bats pretty well,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “We just didn’t get any big hits to drive in runs when we had the chance.”

Byrd continued a positive trend for the Angels as starters have worked at least six innings in seven of their last eight games, going 6-2.

Byrd also got some luck.

Leading 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Seattle’s Jeremy Reed ripped a shot down the first base line. The Angels’ Darin Erstad caught the liner and doubled off Raul Ibanez at first base.

The pitch before, Reed had just pulled a ball foul down the right-field line.

“I feel like the big turn in the game was the Erstad double play, after that ball missed the foul line by a foot,” Byrd said. “The Erstad play gave me a lot of confidence.”

Aaron Sele (2-3) lasted just 4 1-3 innings for Seattle, losing for the second time this year to the club he pitched for from 2002-04. Sele walked a season-high five, giving up four runs and six hits. Seattle’s pitching staff gave up a season-high nine walks.

“The walks hurt me and giving up three hits in the third inning was really the downfall today,” Sele said. “I made too many pitches.”

Seattle tied the score 2-2 in the second on two-out RBI singles from Wilson and Wilson Valdez, but a walk and three straight singles put the Angels ahead in the third. Orlando Cabrera singled to center scoring Guerrero and Dallas McPherson drove home Steve Finley with a single to right.

Garrett Anderson added an RBI single in the ninth off Seattle closer Eddie Guardado.

Francisco Rodriguez worked the ninth for his seventh save in eight chances.

Ichiro Suzuki provided another highlight for the Mariners, throwing out Guerrero at home plate in the fifth when he tagged up and tried to score on Cabrera’s one-out fly to right. In a similar situation in the seventh, Guerrero stayed at third.

Notes

Angels C Josh Paul left in the sixth with a bruised right thumb after being hit in the hand on a ball thrown by Valdez, Seattle’s shortstop, while trying to break up a double play. Paul said he believes it will be a day-to-day situation. … Seattle CF Reed was dropped to seventh in the lineup after batting second in 20 of the first 28 games. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. Reed was 0-for-4.

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