ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The Seattle Mariners are on a roll offensively, and that appears to be just what they expected.
Seattle has 50 runs and 74 hits in its last five games.
“It’s kind of what we envisioned in spring training,” said Sexson, who struggled until getting hits in seven of his last eight games to raise his batting average to .199.
“It’s a great lineup we have—we can pretty much compete with anyone,” said Jose Guillen, who hit his sixth homer and added a sacrifice fly.
The Mariners have hit .368 in their last five games to raise their batting average from .269 to an AL-leading .281.
“You can see how well we’re swinging,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. “Our guys feel good about themselves right now.”
Beltre also doubled twice before flying out against Chris Bootcheck in the ninth, giving him 11 hits in 17 at-bats during the last four games. He went hitless in his previous 12 at-bats.
“There’s nothing different—just getting lucky, that’s all,” said Beltre, who raised his batting average to .275. “It’s a really good day, especially when you win. It’s not only me—the whole team is swinging the bats. We know what kind of offense we can have.”
Sexson and Jose Lopez had three hits each for the Mariners, who have won four straight to match their longest winning streak of the season. Seattle (25-22) is three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2003 season, and trails the AL West-leading Angels by 3 1/2 games.
“We feel like we’ve got a good ballclub and eventually people will come to that conclusion,” Hargrove said.
The loss stopped a three-game winning streak for the Angels, who have lost just five of their last 19 games. They had won five straight home games, allowing only six runs.
“We gave them five or six extra outs, and we paid the price,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “You can’t do that when you’re playing a hot club like this. We got behind, and couldn’t catch up.”
With the score 4-4, Sexson reached on an infield hit with one out in the sixth. One out later, Beltre hit Bartolo Colon’s first pitch over the fence in left-center for a 6-4 lead. Beltre is 14-of-36 with six doubles, four homers and 11 RBIs in his career against Colon.
“Against me, he’s always locked in,” Colon said through a translator.
Seattle blew open the game in the seventh, batting around and scoring six runs. Guillen hit a sacrifice fly and another run scored on first baseman Casey Kotchman’s throwing error before Sexson hit a full-count pitch from Hector Carrasco into the right-center field stands. Beltre hit his team-leading ninth homer off Carrasco later in the inning.
Miguel Batista (5-4) won despite allowing four runs, nine hits and four walks in 5 1-3 innings. Colon (5-2) gave up nine runs—seven earned—and 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings.
“I feel good, but my arm is tight,” Colon said, pointing to a spot just above his right elbow. “It’s not an excuse—they hit the ball hard. It’s not pain, I just can’t get loose. The tightness started when I was in the bullpen. It was the same for the whole game.”
Scioscia said Colon will be evaluated.
“Maybe it’s a bit of dead-arm, but he says he’s OK,” Scioscia said.
Seattle took a 4-2 lead in the second on Beltre’s RBI double and a two-run double by Lopez, who was thrown out trying to stretch his hit. Vladimir Guerrero dropped Kenji Johjima’s leadoff fly to right, making one of the runs unearned.
The Angels got a run in the third on singles by Guerrero and Matthews and a ground-rule double by Kotchman, and tied it in the fourth on a triple by Reggie Willits and Guerrero’s infield out.
The Angels optioned OF Tommy Murphy to Triple-A Salt Lake, and purchased the contract of OF Nathan Haynes from the PCL team. Haynes, who had played 10-plus years in the minors, hit a broken-bat single off Jon Huber in the ninth in his first big-league at-bat. … Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to 21 games—three shy of the Mariners’ franchise record set by Joey Cora in 1997. … Angels C Mike Napoli singled in the eighth to extend his career-high hitting streak to 14 games. His streak of getting at least one hit and scoring at least one run ended at 10 games. … Kotchman’s throwing error in the seventh snapped his errorless streak of 115 games.