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Angels 6, Mariners 3

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- The Los Angeles Angels finally found some offense Friday night, even as their three biggest stars continued to take baby steps.

Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols each collected a hit for the second night in a row, but it was the power of Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo that finally got the Angels back on the winning track. Conger and Trumbo each hit two-run home runs to give Los Angeles a big early lead, and the Angels held on to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-3 and snap a two-game losing streak.

After jumping out to a 5-0 lead, the Angels (9-13) worked themselves into jams all night long but escaped while stranding 13 Seattle runners on base and throwing out a 14th at home plate. Seattle (9-16) went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, with the lone hit resulting in baserunner Justin Smoak getting thrown out at home plate to kill a seventh-inning rally.

Smoak's forgettable night included two bases-loaded strikeouts and an inning-ending putout at the plate.

Los Angeles starter C.J. Wilson struck out nine batters, including inning-ending strikeouts with the bases loaded in both the fourth and fifth innings to protect a 5-1 Angels lead. Wilson allowed seven hits and three runs over 5 1/3 innings but needed 110 pitches to get there.

His most important statistic may have been the six baserunners Wilson left stranded in the fourth and fifth innings -- during which he had five strikeouts.

Wilson's luck finally ran out in the sixth, when he allowed the first two batters to reach base for the third inning in a row but couldn't work his way out of it. Two sacrifices -- an Endy Chavez fly ball and a Brendan Ryan bunt -- drove in runs as the Mariners cut the lead to 5-3.

The Mariners had multiple chances to even the score after spotting Los Angeles a 5-0 lead, but Seattle continued to swing its way out of innings. The Mariners left 13 runners on base, including two in the seventh after Smoak was thrown out at home plate trying to score from second on a Dustin Ackley single.

Ernesto Frieri pitched a scoreless ninth to give the Angels just their third save of the season.

The Angels' underachieving trio of Trout, Pujols and Hamilton was relatively quiet again, combining to go 3-for-10 with two RBIs and a run scored. Pujols had a single and drove in a pair of runs on sacrifice flies, but he struck out in his final at-bat before getting into a brief argument with home plate umpire Scott Barry.

Trout also had a rough ninth inning, with a strikeout and an error on an easy pop fly to lead off the bottom of that inning. The ball off the bat of Seattle's Kendrys Morales bounced off Trout's mitt, allowing the leadoff runner to reach second base before Frieri closed out the game by stranding two Mariners runners on the base paths.

The Angels jumped on Seattle early, opening the game with back-to-back singles before taking a 1-0 lead into the second inning. Two-run home runs by Hank Conger in the second and Mark Trumbo in the third put the Angels ahead 5-0 while Wilson cruised through the first three innings.

The Mariners finally got to Wilson in the fourth, when they loaded the bases with no one out on back-to-back singles and a Michael Morse walk. After a Smoak strikeout, Wilson hit Seattle's Kelly Shoppach with a pitch to drive in a run and cut the Angels' lead to 5-1. Wilson struck out the next two batters, his sixth and seventh strikeouts of the game, to strand three runners.

The Mariners loaded the bases again in the fifth, this time with one out, but came up empty again after a Morse popup and another Smoak strikeout.

In the fourth and fifth innings alone, Wilson had five strikeouts while Seattle left six runners on base.

Still trying to prove himself as the newest member of the Mariners' starting rotation, Aaron Harang had another rough outing in his third start of the season.

After allowing singles to Peter Bourjos and Trout to open the game, Harang got out of the first inning having given up just one run. Things got worse when Conger took Harang deep on a 2-0 pitch in the second inning, resulting in a two-run home run and Conger's first homer since 2011. The shot gave Los Angeles a 3-0 lead.

The Angels' Trumbo added a two-run homer of his own in the third, and Harang didn't make it past the inning. In three innings of work, Harang allowed five runs on six hits -- two of them homers -- before giving way to the Seattle bullpen.

Harang has an ERA of 11.37 this season.

NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said before Friday's game that shortstop Erick Aybar "felt great" after a second consecutive extended spring training game as a designated hitter. Aybar, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 10 because of a heel injury, is expected to see time in the field during a Saturday game in Arizona, Scioscia said. ... The Angels' Albert Pujols (plantar fasciitis) was at first base for the second game in a row Friday. He'd gone 10 days without playing the field to give his foot a chance to heal. ... Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders (shoulder) could be back in the lineup as soon as Monday, manager Eric Wedge said before Friday's game. ... The Mariners announced that top pitching prospect Danny Hultzen, who is currently at Class AAA Tacoma, will be shut down for at least two weeks because of a strained rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder. The 23-year-old left-hander was the second overall pick in the 2011 draft. ... Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager had a fourth-inning single to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.
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