Angels 6, Mariners 1

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Seattle manager Mike Hargrove would love to get the kind of starting pitching the Los Angeles Angels are getting from one of baseball’s best rotations.

Ervin Santana allowed one run over seven innings and the Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Mariners with a 6-1 victory Sunday.

Santana (2-2) scattered six hits, struck out five and walked one. The only run against the right-hander came in the fifth when Adrian Beltre led off with a tape-measure homer into the rock formation in left-center field.

The Angels scored 21 runs in the series, after totaling just 16 during their weather-plagued 1-7 road trip.

“There’s no rhyme or reason,” said Garret Anderson, who drove in two runs. “You know it’s going to happen, so you just be patient. We play a lot of games, so we don’t get too wrapped up in one stretch of games.”

Jeff Weaver (0-3), Miguel Batista and Horacio Ramirez surrendered 15 runs and 24 hits over a combined 13-plus innings against the Angels. By contrast, Santana, Joe Saunders and Bartolo Colon combined to hold Seattle to just two runs over 20 innings of work.

The Mariners have lost six straight.

“We need to have somebody step up,” Hargrove said. “We’ve been going into the second and third innings three and four runs down. Those things run in cycles, but it’s time for our starters to start throwing strikes and getting hitters out. These guys have proven track records.”

Hargrove is going to give Weaver the ball the next time his turn comes up, but hedged when asked if he would be on a short leash after giving up three runs and seven hits over three innings against his former team.

“It’s a fair question to ask, but I don’t know if that’s really a fair question for me to answer, so I won’t answer it,” Hargrove said. “It’s really a tough decision to make, but for the good of the ballclub, sometimes you have to make decisions that you don’t necessarily like to have to make.”

Hargrove may not have much choice but to stick it out with Weaver, who’s in a rotation with a cumulative 6.44 ERA through the team’s first 14 games.

Weaver actually lowered his ERA from 15.75 to 13.91 with his effort against the Angels. The nine-year veteran, who signed a one-year, $8,325,000 contract with Seattle after winning the World Series clincher, allowed seven runs in each of his first two starts with the Mariners.

Pitching for his sixth big league team in six years, Weaver faced the Angels for the first time since they traded him to St. Louis last July. He was 3-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 16 starts last year for the Angels, eventually losing his spot in the rotation—and on the roster—to younger brother Jered.

“Jeff was a different pitcher in the second half of the season last year for St. Louis than he was at any time we had him,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “I saw a couple of his games in the playoffs, and that’s what we had hoped he was going to be able to do for us. He had a great year, he worked hard to get there, and we’re happy for that. I wish he could have made those adjustments here, but it didn’t work out.”

The Angels, who jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first game of the series and a 7-0 lead on Saturday night, staked Santana to a 3-0 advantage through the first three innings. No one in Seattle’s lineup had a worse time at the plate this weekend than first baseman Richie Sexson, who was 0-for-11 and hit only one ball out of the infield.

“It’s all about the team,” Sexson said. “It’s frustrating to lose these three games the way we did. We battled them in the first two, and today we never really got in it.”

The Angels parlayed a pair of errors by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and two wild pitches by reliever Sean White into a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning, extending their lead to 5-1.

Betancourt has six errors in 14 games. He played errorless ball through his first 31 games last season (127 total chances), becoming the first Seattle shortstop to go an entire month without an error since Alex Rodriguez in June 2000. He finished the season with 20 errors in 157 games.

“It happens,” Sexson said. “You’re going to make some errors. But I’ll take my chances with him every day, that’s for sure.”

Notes

The Mariners, who have finished last in the AL West in each of the previous three seasons, are off to a 5-9 start. This is their fourth losing streak of six or more games during the past two seasons, including an 11-game skid last August—which the Angels capped with a four-game sweep at Anaheim. … Beltre has 12 RBIs in 53 at-bats. Last April, he had only six RBIs in 90 at-bats.

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