SEATTLE (AP)—The sunken Seattle Mariners, the supposed biggest challengers to Los Angeles’ AL West supremacy? They’re disintegrating at the bottom of the major leagues.
The manager went on a postgame tirade. Their general manager ordered players to stay at their posts and give answers they don’t have. And the team president ripped their coaching staff.
Torii Hunter hit a two-run single in a big first inning before Jered Weaver and three relievers preserved the Angels’ 5-4 victory over their imploding rivals on Wednesday, sending Los Angeles a season-best 13 games over .500.
“It’s always sweet to come out and sweep a team in your own division,” Hunter said.
But it wasn’t a broom. It was a shovel: the Mariners are buried, 18 games under .500 and 15 1/2 games out of first place after five losses in six games and 20 in 27.
After the game, it got even worse for the Mariners.
Manager John McLaren unleashed an expletive-filled rant, shouting and pointing into his stone-quiet clubhouse while emphasizing his team is trying hard but not performing as it should.
One of his few G-rated remarks was: “Got to buckle down and get after it! It’s got to be a total team effort … “
Then, after 45 seconds, McLaren stomped off into his office and closed the door.
“He could have said that a month ago,” general manager Bill Bavasi said later.
Before McLaren went off, Bavasi ordered each of the 25 Mariners players to sit at his locker immediately after the game to take full responsibility publicly for having the worst record in the major leagues despite a $117 million payroll that is just below the richest in baseball.
“One thing in here is, I know everybody has to do their own job, but don’t forget it’s a team. A lot of people in here play for themselves,” losing pitching Carlos Silva said after his sixth consecutive loss. “Like, ‘If I get my two hits, it’s OK. That’s my day. I made my day.’
“It is happening here.”
Slumping slugger Richie Sexson was conspicuously absent from his locker for the most of Bavasi’s mandated postgame availability before breezing past his locker back into a private eating area and then boarding the bus that took the Mariners to their flight to Boston, an off day and then a weekend series.
All this came after a midmorning meeting in the clubhouse in which team president Chuck Armstrong ripped into the team’s coaching staff. Armstrong refused to comment on his outburst during the game, saying through a team spokesman, “What’s said between me and the coaches stays between me and the coaches.”
Howie Kendrick’s RBI double and then Hunter’s hit off Silva gave Los Angeles a 3-0 lead. For the second consecutive game, the Angels had five runs off a Seattle starter by the fourth inning. Los Angeles hadn’t scored as many as five runs in 13 games before that.
Weaver (5-6) allowed 10 hits for the fifth time in 13 starts this season— but won for the third time in four starts. He allowed four runs, struck out three and walked one.
“It was a battle for me today,” he said.
Darren Oliver and Justin Speier each pitched a scoreless inning. Then Francisco Rodriguez, shouting and fist-pumping as usual, finished the ninth for his 24th save in 25 chances—and third in three days.
Jose Lopez had three hits and three RBIs, including his third home run in three days. But it was not enough to help Silva, whom the Mariners signed to a $48 million, four-year contract before the season.
“I’m going crazy right now,” Silva said. “I’m working so hard.”
Seattle had rallied from 5-1 down and was within 5-4 with two outs in the sixth when Ichiro Suzuki singled to left field during a hit-and-run with Yuniesky Betancourt. Betancourt stopped briefly at second and then kept running as third-base coach Sam Perlozzo waved him home. Garret Anderson, 35, threw almost underhanded to shortstop Maicer Izturis, and Izturis’ relay throw to catcher Mike Napoli had Betancourt out by 10 feet to end the inning.
The home crowd, showing no sign of becoming numb from so many poor plays by the Mariners this season, booed yet again as Perlozzo and Betancourt shuffled off the field.
The Angels sent OF Vladimir Guerrero (knee) and RHP Scot Shields (ribcage) back to California to get an examination by team medical director Dr. Lewis Yocum. Manager Mike Scioscia says each is progressing and could be available again sometime during the weekend series at Oakland that begins Friday. … Silva allowed eight hits and five runs in eight innings, with two strikeouts and two walks. He hasn’t won since April 17.