ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Carlos Silva willed himself through five painful innings — practically begging rookie manager Don Wakamatsu to let him stay long enough to quality for his first victory in almost 10 months.
Silva (1-2) allowed three runs and six hits. The right-hander, who had lost eight straight decisions since his previous win on June 28, is 2-19 since starting last season 3-0.
“I tried to stay there and compete and help my team out, but it wasn’t easy,” Silva said. “Wakamatsu was ready to take me out in the third. I think he even made the call to the bullpen from the dugout, and I was like, `Please, just give me a chance.’ It was very important for me that he let me at least finish those five innings.”
Silva set down his first six batters in order, but retired only three of his next nine—giving up a leadoff homer in the fourth to Kendry Morales that trimmed Seattle’s lead to 5-3. The right-hander finally got through the fifth, retiring Torii Hunter on a broken-bat grounder with his 72nd pitch.
“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Wakamatsu said. “He felt it quite a bit through those last two innings, but he wouldn’t let me take him out. He battled, and that’s a credit to him.”
The Angels scored five runs in the last three innings to get within one but couldn’t complete the rally. David Aardsma yielded Hunter’s two-run homer in the ninth before finishing for his third save. It was up to the Mariners’ setup man to close because Brendan Morrow wasn’t available due to stiffness in his right shoulder.
“He wasn’t down in the bullpen, so we were trying to figure out what was wrong,” Aardsma said. “Pretty soon, we realized that he’s not showing up. So obviously, everybody’s role jumps back an extra inning, and I had the ninth. If I get those opportunities, I’m going to do my best. But it’s still Brandon’s job.”
Branyan gave Angels emergency starter Anthony Ortega a rude welcome to the big leagues with his fourth homer in the first inning. He also went deep his first time up in Friday’s 8-3 win.
Branyan added a run-scoring single in the seventh, giving him six RBIs in two games after missing the previous five due to lower back spasms.
Wladimir Balentien’s first homer and RBI of the season helped the first-place Mariners open a 5 1/2 -game lead on the third-place Angels, who have won the last two AL West titles and four in a five-year span.
Ortega was the second pitcher in three days to be promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake to make a spot start for the injury-ravaged Angels’ rotation. The right-hander allowed five runs, four earned, and five hits in five innings.
Ortega (0-1) is the eighth pitcher to start for the Angels already this season—one more than all of last year. On Thursday night, 30-year-old righty Matt Palmer beat Detroit 10-5 for his first big league victory.
“We’ve gone as deep as we can right now in our rotation, and we’re stretched to an uncomfortable level on our depth chart,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “But you never want to think the cupboard is totally bare because you always feel there are arms down there that you feel can come up and give you a chance to win a game.”
Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. led off the third with a drive toward the top of the 18-foot wall in right-center. A fan with a glove reached over and caught it, and second base umpire Greg Gibson immediately clasped his hands over his head to signal fan interference.
Scioscia ran out to argue with Gibson and persuaded him to confer with the rest of the crew before plate umpire and crew chief Tim McClelland retreated to the umps dressing room with two of his colleagues to view the replay.
The process took only a few minutes, and the call stood—depriving Matthews of his first homer of the season. He eventually scored on a bases-loaded single by Maicer Izturis.
This was the first time that video replay was used at Angel Stadium, which was one of three ballparks that had the equipment in operation when it debuted on Aug. 28, 2008.