Mariners 10, Angels 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Joel Pineiro looked like the old Joel Pineiro.
Pineiro threw a six-hitter to win for the first time in 12 starts, and Adrian Beltre and Jeremy Reed hit three-run doubles as the Seattle Mariners surprised the Los Angeles Angels 10-2 Thursday night in a matchup of the best and worst records in the AL West.
Pineiro (3-4) went the distance for the second time this season and eighth time in 108 career starts. The right-hander was 0-3 with eight no-decisions since beating Oakland and Texas in consecutive starts in April.
“Every pitcher is going to say it’s a relief, but I’m not satisfied,” Pineiro said. “There’s still half a season left, so I want to go out there and keep having good starts. But to go out there and have a game like this is huge.”
Pineiro missed the final three months of last season with a strained right elbow. He beat the Angels on July 25, his final victory of 2004. Against the Angels on Thursday, he resembled the pitcher who won 16 games two years ago for the Mariners.
“It’s nice when you’ve got all your pitches working and throwing them for strikes,” Pineiro said. “Everything works off my fastball. So if I can go out there and be aggressive and get ahead of the hitters, everything else is going to fall in place.”
Bartolo Colon (11-5) lost for only the second time in nine decisions, allowing a season-high seven runs and seven hits over six innings. The right-hander, whose 64 victories since the start of 2002 are the most in the majors, saw his ERA increase from 3.06 to 3.42.
Colon, one of three Angels going to the All-Star game, struggled in the first two innings. He threw 51 pitches, allowing six hits and three walks and falling behind 7-0 despite retiring the first two batters in both innings.
“I was never thinking about the All-Star game. That was not in my mind,” Colon said through a translator. “I am as ticked off at myself as I’ve ever been after getting to a situation where I should have gotten the next guy and didn’t get the job done.
“In the first inning and the second inning I tried to do too much after two outs. My stuff was not the same, and it hurt me. I’m still mad at myself that I was not aggressive enough early in the count where I could finish them off.”
Reed’s bases loaded double to left-center in the first was followed by an RBI double to the same spot by Willie Bloomquist, who tied a club record with three two-base hits in Wednesday night’s 5-1 loss at Kansas City. Beltre made it 7-0 with a ringing double to right-center after two walks and Richie Sexson’s infield single.
“That was a big hit for me,” Beltre said. “I just wanted to get a pitch over the plate that I could hit in the gap somewhere. When you’ve got two outs, you’ve got to get a hit or a walk to help the team.”
Beltre, who was just 2-for-20 with one RBI in the previous five games between the clubs this season, has 25 RBIs since June 4 and has raised his average from .234 to .269 (83-for-309).
“I feel better swinging the bat and I’m getting better results,” Beltre said. “It’s just about getting comfortable in my head. It’s not quite there yet, but it’s a lot better than it was early in the season.”
Beltre, coming off his the best season of his career, signed a five-year, $64 million contract in December as a free agent after hitting .334 with 121 RBIs and a major league-leading 48 home runs with the Dodgers. His home run total tied Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt’s record for third basemen.
“The big thing is that he’s feeling comfortable here now,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “You don’t see him pressing, and you see him smiling a lot more now. It just looked like he wanted to do well so badly to justify (the contract) that he took himself away from what he does best and tried to make it all happen in two games.”
The Mariners, who trail the Angels by 15 1/2 games, scored their eighth run in the seventh on a wild pitch by Kevin Gregg. They tacked on two more in the eighth against Esteban Yan on Randy Winn’s third homer, which followed a two-out single by Ichiro Suzuki.
The Angels, whose division lead shrunk to eight games, scored in the fourth on Garret Anderson’s RBI groundout and in the ninth on Josh Paul’s homer. Despite the loss, their 52-33 record is tied for the best record in franchise history after 85 games.
Angels RF Vladimir Guerrero, who will be starting in the All-Star game, grounded into two double plays and committed his first error of the season. … Reed, who played his college ball at nearby Long Beach State, is 12-for-27 at Angel Stadium. … The Mariners were 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position, after going 5-for-24 in that department over the previous two games and stranding 16 runners. … Colon was 6-8 with 6.38 ERA before the All-Star break last season. Three of his four losses this year have come at home.