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Angels amass 21 hits, rout Mariners

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels haven't had much to smile about this season, falling significantly below lofty expectations. For one night, though, it seemed they released about 2 1/2 months worth of frustration.

The Angels used a seven-run sixth inning to break open a tight game and cruise to an 11-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night at Angel Stadium. They banged out a season-high 21 hits, including four each from Albert Pujols and Alberto Callaspo, and three from Peter Bourjos. The 21 hits were the most by the Angels since Aug. 16, 2009, against the Baltimore Orioles.

"I don't know if you're going to get (21 hits) every night, but we're going to hopefully score one more run than the team we're playing," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Twenty-one hits is a good breakout game for us."

Los Angeles left-hander Jason Vargas (6-4) gave up two runs, four hits and a walk in seven innings, striking out a season-high nine batters.

Josh Hamilton had two hits, including his 10th home run of the season, but he was a non-factor in the fateful sixth. In fact, Hamilton struck out twice in the inning, though it hardly mattered.

The Angels sent 12 men to the plate in the rally, getting six hits and two walks. Bourjos was 2-for-2 with a run and a stolen base in the inning.

Every Angels batter in the starting lineup had at least one hit, with 12 of the hits coming off Mariners starter Aaron Harang (3-7). Harang was finished after allowing four runs in five innings, so he wasn't to blame for the Angels' big sixth.

Mariners relievers Carter Capps and Charlie Furbush got knocked around in the inning, and they were hurt by second baseman Nick Franklin's throwing error and some bounces that didn't go their way.

"We had some tough luck, but (the Angels) took advantage of it," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of the sixth inning. "They took advantage of their speed, a couple tricky plays in the infield ... the high chopper, a couple other balls didn't make it out of the infield and ended up being hits, and that was pretty much the end of it."

The Angels weren't about to apologize for getting a few fortunate hops, not the way their season has gone so far.

"We got some breaks, some infield singles and stuff," Angels left fielder Mike Trout said. "But it's felt like other teams have been doing that to us. We just came out swinging and got 21 hits."

The win pushed the Angels (31-39) ahead of the Mariners (31-40) and into third place in the AL West.

The Angels jumped out to a 4-0 lead off Harang by scoring one run in the first and three more in the second.

Hamilton was key to both innings. He had a one-out single in the first inning and scored on Howie Kendrick's two-out double.

In the second, the Angels had already scored one run on Trout's sacrifice fly when Hamilton hammered a pitch from Harang over the center field fence for a two-run homer and a 4-0 lead. Mariners center fielder Michael Saunders nearly made a highlight-reel catch on the blast, but the ball glanced off the tip of his glove.

"It was good to see Josh, not only get a hold of one, but see some pitches and hit the ball the other way today," Scioscia said. "Hopefully he's getting into a little more of a comfort level in the batter's box."

The Mariners got two runs back in the third inning, when a two-out single by Endy Chavez was followed by Franklin's two-run homer, but Vargas never was in any trouble the rest of the way.

"He did a great job with his fastball and changeup," Wedge said of Vargas, an ex-Mariner. "He had a great feel for his changeup, and he does what he does. He did a good job of moving his fastball around and keeping you honest."

NOTES: Bourjos is hitting .400 (10-for-25) since coming off the disabled list. He missed 38 games with a strained left hamstring suffered during the Angels' 19-inning game against Oakland. ... Angels RHP Ryan Madson might begin throwing off the mound this weekend or early next week. Madson has endured numerous setbacks and has been slow to recover since undergoing Tommy John surgery 14 months ago. ... Mariners 1B Justin Smoak went 2-for-5 Monday in his fifth game with Triple-A Tacoma, giving him a .238 average on his rehab assignment. Smoak, who is recovering from strained oblique muscle, might return to the majors later this week. ... Mariners OF Jason Bay was not in the starting lineup because of a sore hamstring, which tightened up on him in Sunday's game in Oakland. Bay normally starts against lefties, and the Angels had Vargas pitching. OF Raul Ibanez started in Bay's place and went 2-for-4.
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