Teixeira’s homer lifts Angels over Seattle
Teixeira’s home run with two outs in the eighth inning lifted Los Angeles to a 6-5 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
The Angels (98-60) maintained their edge over Tampa Bay (96-62), which beat Baltimore 11-6, for the best record in the American League. Teixeira may be headed for the postseason for the first time in his six big-league seasons but he’s staying focused on securing home-field advantage.
“That’s very important for us,” said Teixeira, who was acquired from Atlanta on July 19. “I wouldn’t be able to perform if I was thinking about next week. This game is tough enough playing that day. You can’t be thinking about next week.”
The Angels, who trailed 5-2 after five innings, scored three runs in the sixth to tie it. In the eighth, Teixeira, who had four hits, ripped a 2-0 pitch from Mark Lowe (1-5) deep into the seats in right. It was his 13th home run with the Angels and 33rd on the season.
“Very few times I go out there trying to hit a home run,” Teixeira said. “But tie game, eighth inning. With two outs there, I’m looking to drive the ball. I got a pitch middle in and got a pretty good swing on it.”
Los Angeles’ Mike Napoli had three hits for the second straight game. He has 13 hits in his last 20 at-bats.
“Before Mark was on our team, we had the best record in baseball,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “But he’s added a different element that really showed up in the second half. He’s added depth to our lineup. He’s added great defensive presence at first base. He fit right in the middle of our lineup. And with his presence, it makes any lineup deeper.
“When we get in the playoffs, hopefully, he’ll get a chance to show his talent. He’s had a great second half since we acquired him. He’s had an impact on everyone here.”
The Angels are 32-20 since Teixeira arrived. They need one win to match the franchise record for wins set by the 2002 team that won the World Series. They extended their franchise road wins record to 49.
“I’m lucky to be a part of it,” Teixeira added.
The fifth use of baseball’s replay policy came in the fifth inning when Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels hit a ball just outside the foul pole in left and third base umpire Chuck Meriwether immediately called it foul. Scioscia came out twice and finally convinced crew chief Tim Welke to review the play. He took 2 1/2 minutes to confirm it was foul.
“From my angle, I thought it hit where the line comes up at the top of the fence. Then it looked like it hit the foul pole and did something weird back there,” Scioscia said. “I got back to the dugout and wanted to make sure. So I asked the home plate umpire if he had a good look at it.”
The umpires then huddled and decided to review. Three of them disappeared into the umpires’ room.
“I was a little confused that initially there was no review then there was another meeting and there was a review,” Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. “That’s probably not the way it’s supposed to work but the bottom line is they got the call right.”
Yuniesky Betancourt had three hits for the Mariners (58-100), who lost 100 games for the fourth time in franchise history, but the first time in 25 years. The Mariners have the unfortunate distinction of being the first major league team with a $100 million payroll to lose 100 games.
“After the game I talked to the ballclub,” Riggleman said. “It occurred to me that 100 losses wasn’t something I thought about all day or during the game. It felt about the same as the other losses. As we’ve gone toward that number it’s felt the same, just agonizing losses.”
Hernandez (9-11) went six innings, allowing a season-high 13 hits and five runs. He won’t pitch again, guaranteeing the Mariners will not have a 10-game winner for the third time in franchise history.
Angels LHP Joe Saunders returned to the club after passing a kidney stone. He missed one start but Scioscia said, “he’ll throw some bullpen (Thursday), probably a couple times on the mound to get a feel, then we’ll get him in the game Sunday.” … Angels 2B Howie Kendrick (strained left hamstring), who returned from the DL on Sunday, sat out to rest his leg. He’s expected back in the lineup Thursday. “We want to get him as many at-bats as we can,” Scioscia said. … Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-5, ending his hitting streak at 16 games. … The Mariners will start reliever Cesar Jimenez in the series finale Thursday. … It was Rodriguez’s ninth save against the Mariners this season.