Angels 2, Mariners 0

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners welcomed back manager Eric Wedge on Friday night, but they couldn't reward him with a victory.

On a night when Wedge returned from a month-long absence to recover from a July 22 stroke, the Mariners fell 2-0 to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Angels' Chris Nelson provided most of the game's offense with a two-run homer off Seattle starter Felix Hernandez in the second inning. That gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead, which held up because of the performance from starter Garrett Richards (4-5).

The 25-year-old Richards pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings before taking a Dustin Ackley line drive off the forearm of his pitching arm to lead off the eighth. The right-handed Richards came out after being assessed by a team trainer, having allowed four hits while throwing 89 pitches. He got a lot of defensive help, including inning-ending double plays in the sixth and seventh, before relievers Dane De La Rosa and Ernesto Frieri finished off the Angels' first shutout win since July 24.

Seattle's Hernandez (12-7) bounced back from a rough start in his last outing but ended up suffering back-to-back losses for the first time since May. He allowed just three hits over six innings before coming out of the game having thrown 104 pitches. Hernandez struck out 10 of the 23 batters he faced, marking the fourth time this season he hit double-digits in strikeouts.

The Angels (56-71) snapped a four-game losing streak and are now 7-16 since Albert Pujols went on the disabled list with a season-ending foot injury.

Seattle (59-68) had a six-game winning streak under Wedge until a mild stroke sent him to a local hospital shortly before a July 22 game against Cleveland. Bench coach Robby Thompson went 12-15 as acting manager while Wedge recovered from the medical episode.

The two teams combined for just nine hits and 22 strikeouts.

Despite yielding the two-run homer to Nelson, Hernandez struck out eight batters over the first five innings.

Richards was up to the task, though, and got some defensive help along the way. Mike Trout made a nice catch against the wall in center field to rob Seattle's Kyle Seager of an extra-base hit in the first inning. Third baseman Nelson backhanded a sharp grounder and threw out the Mariners' Brad Miller in the third inning.

Miller led off the game with a single off Richards, who didn't give up another hit until Dustin Ackley hit a two-out single in the fifth.

Notes: The Angels welcomed the return of Trout, who sat out the previous three games with a sore hamstring. Trout was in the No. 3 hole in the Angels' batting order. ... The Mariners still have not confirmed reports regarding general manager Jack Zduriencik signing a one-year extension that would keep him under contract for the 2014 season. Before Friday's game, Zduriencik declined to comment on the report, citing a club policy regarding contract situations. ... Zduriencik said that Mariners prospect D.J. Peterson, the team's first-round pick in the June draft, underwent successful surgery. Peterson suffered a broken jaw when he was hit by a pitch in a Thursday night Midwest League game. Zduriencik said the surgery was the first of two Peterson will likely need. ... Before Friday's game, the Angels recalled RHP Cory Rasmus and designated RHP Billy Buckner for assignment.
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