Vladimir Guerrero gets 4 hits as Angels beat Mariners 10-6 and open 4-game AL West lead
SEATTLE (AP)—Vladimir Guerrero wears a blue T-shirt with Superman’s red “S” hidden under his team jersey.
As far the Mariners are concerned, though, he’s nothing but a super villain.
Guerrero had more four hits and three more RBIs against the team he loves to torment as the Los Angeles Angels rallied from five runs down to beat Seattle 10-6 Tuesday night and increase their AL West lead to four games.
The seven-time All-Star is batting .509 this season against the Mariners and has 62 RBIs in 67 career games against them.
This one was the Angels’ 10th victory in 14 games this season against its closest rival.
“This is the biggest, knowing where we were down, the series, how good the Mariners are. Yes, it is,” Guerrero said through an interpreter.
Seattle (73-57) rebounded from Monday’s 6-0 loss to Los Angeles by taking a 5-0 lead in the first inning off Ervin Santana. But the Mariners still lost their fourth straight, and their wild-card lead over the New York Yankees (73-59) was cut to one game. After Wednesday’s series finale, the Mariners go on a 10-game trip to Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Detroit.
“We have to get them tomorrow. That’s all there is to it,” Mariners manager John McLaren said.
Kendry Morales had three hits, including a homer against Jeff Weaver and a double off rookie Brandon Morrow (3-3) that put Los Angeles ahead 7-6 in a four-run eighth. Guerrero added a two-run single off Rick White and Maicer Izturis singled in a run.
Justin Speier (2-3) gave up one run and two hits in 1 1-3 innings for the win. But the Angels saved their pitching praises for Dustin Moseley, who was as good in allowing just two hits in 5 1-3 scoreless innings as Santana was bad.
Santana threw 20 pitches before he got an out—after two triples, a double, two walks and four runs. After 23 pitches, his cameo was over.
The crowd gave Santana a mocking, standing ovation as he left the game— perhaps the Angels’ rotation, too.
He is 5-12 for a team that is a season-high 24 games over .500. He hasn’t won since June 9, and he has allowed five earned runs or more in nine of 22 starts this season.
“We’re going to evaluate some things,” Scioscia said, when asked if Santana would make his next scheduled start.
The Angels began their comeback after Weaver walked Howie Kendrick leading off the third. Kendrick scored when Guillen’s throw to third base from right field on a single by Jeff Mathis skipped off third baseman Adrian Beltre’s hand and into left field for an error.
In the fourth, Gary Matthews Jr. golfed Weaver’s low, inside pitch into the first row of the right-field bleachers for his 17th homer. Two pitches later, Morales hit an offspeed pitch a dozen rows into the same area to make it 5-3.
Guerrero’s second double on a flat slider put Los Angeles ahead 6-5 in the seventh, after McLaren surprised the slugger by having Sean Green pitch to him with first base open and two outs.
“If anything, I thought they’d pitch around me and try to get me to chase,” said Guerrero, a renowned bad-ball hitter. “But that pitch I saw, I’d be a fool not to jump on it.”
So yet again, Guerrero made Seattle pay.
“He was 0-for-4 against Green,” McLaren said, ignoring the years of history Guerrero has piled up against any pitcher wearing a Seattle uniform. “We know what kind of hitter he is. We know he is an animal.”
Ichiro Suzuki retied it in the bottom of the seventh with a RBI single off Speier. That left the near-sellout crowd of 44,395 roaring—but only until the next half-inning.
Santana’s outing tied for the shortest of his career. Last Aug. 10 at Cleveland, he recorded an out before the second batter lined a hit off his left knee and forced him from the game. He has allowed at least five earned runs nine times in 22 starts. Before this meltdown, he had allowed just two earned run in 14 innings while going 2-0 against Seattle. … Weaver allowed eight hits and the five runs in 4 1-3 innings. The Angels have scored 11 runs and have four home runs in 8 1-3 innings in Weaver’s last two starts against them. He is 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA in three starts against his former team this season.