Angels beat Mariners 4-3 in 14th on Abreu’s HR
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Most of the Fireworks Night crowd of 44,203 had long departed Angel Stadium by the time it was announced at the end of the 13th inning that the pyrotechnics would be postponed until Saturday. Bobby Abreu(notes) then unleashed some of his own.
The 30 innings in consecutive games tied an Angels franchise record, matching the mark set April 13-14, 1982, when they beat the Mariners 4-3 in 20 and 2-1 in 10 at Anaheim to begin a seven-game winning streak.
“It was a long game and we all wanted to end it and go home. But we also wanted to win it,” Abreu said after closer Fernando Rodney(notes) blew a 3-1 lead in the ninth for Jered Weaver(notes). “We deserved to get a win, especially with the way Weave pitched tonight.”
Working his second inning of relief, Brian Sweeney(notes) (1-2) retired his first batter in the 14th before Abreu drove the right-hander’s first-pitch fastball to left-center for his 18th homer. It was the ninth walkoff win for the Angels this season and the 11th loss for the Mariners in that fashion.
Rich Thompson(notes) (1-0), one of three consecutive Angels relievers trying to nail down their first major league victory, got the job done with two perfect innings after Jordan Walden(notes) and Michael Kohn(notes) each worked one inning.
“It was good to get Weaver out of the game and tie the ballgame up in the ninth against Rodney,” Seattle DH Russell Branyan(notes) said. “But the other guys who came out of their bullpen were tough. There were some guys I’d never seen before. I wish we could have had a better crack at them and done something with them.”
Jose Lopez(notes) and former Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman(notes) hit consecutive one-out RBI doubles in the ninth off Rodney. It was the fifth blown save opportunity in 13 chances this season for the right-hander, who inherited the closer’s job after lefty Brian Fuentes(notes) was traded to Minnesota on Aug. 27.
Former Angels third baseman Chone Figgins(notes), who shifted to second after signing a $36 million, four-year contract with Seattle in the offseason, made a spectacular play in the 10th to keep the game going.
Mike Napoli(notes) hit a grounder up the middle with runners at first and second, but Figgins backhanded the ball behind the bag and made a no-look backhanded flip with his glove to shortstop Josh Wilson(notes), who completed the inning-ending double play.
Weaver allowed an unearned run and five hits while lowering his ERA to 3.02, but remained winless in six starts since beating Detroit on Aug. 6.
“I’ve been saying for the last five weeks that I’m in a position where I can only do what I can do,” said Weaver, who was in the trainer’s room icing his arm when he saw the lead evaporate. “I go out there and pitch and try to keep us in the game. I was able to do that tonight, and we just weren’t able to hang onto the lead. But the guys battled back and a big homer by Bobby helped us out.”
“I’ve said all along that he’s got great deception, he mixes his pitches and he’s smart with what he’s doing out there,” Branyan said. “I haven’t had a whole lot of luck against him. Tonight he was really getting me out of rhythm. He’s been doing it against us all year long. So he obviously has a plan and he’s sticking to it.”
David Pauley(notes) gave up three runs and five hits over 6 2-3 innings for Seattle in his 16th big league start. This was the first time in Pauley’s last four starts that his teammates scored a run while he was in the game.
But the 27-year-old rookie has nothing on Weaver, whose teammates managed only one run over his previous four outings—an eighth-inning solo homer by Torii Hunter(notes) last Saturday at Oakland. The Angels had totaled only 26 runs in Weaver’s previous 14 starts after beating the Cubs 12-0 at Wrigley Field on June 19.
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki(notes) extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a bunt single in the third and continued to second on catcher Mathis’ throwing error. It was Suzuki’s 2,214th big league hit, tying Joe DiMaggio for 167th place on the career list.
Suzuki took over the AL lead in hits by one over Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton(notes). The Japanese star has led the majors in hits six times during his nine previous big league seasons and each of the past four.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on Howie Kendrick’s(notes) sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Mathis. Seattle got one of the runs back in the fifth when Kotchman singled, took third on Michael Saunders’(notes) single and continued home as Hunter’s one-hop throw from right field skipped past third baseman Alberto Callaspo(notes).
The error was only the fourth by Hunter in his last 407 games in the outfield, and the second for the nine-time Gold Glove winner since shifting from center field to right when Peter Bourjos(notes) was promoted from the minors on Aug. 3.
Mathis, who fouled out on a squeeze attempt Wednesday night before getting his game-ending sac fly, laid down a perfect bunt in the sixth as Erick Aybar(notes) scooted home with the Angels’ third run.
NOTES: Weaver has left with the lead in five of his eight no-decisions. … Hunter’s error, which followed two by Mathis, increased the Angels’ season total to 100. … The Mariners’ offense reached the 1,000-strikeout mark for the third straight season and 11th time in the franchise’s 34-year history when Weaver fanned Adam Moore(notes) in the seventh inning.