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Mariners 2, Angels 1

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Jason Vargas frustrated his former teammates for most of Sunday afternoon, when it took a couple of new Seattle Mariners to spoil the left-hander's homecoming.

Solo home runs by Jason Bay and Michael Morse in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, gave the Mariners a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels while handing Vargas (0-3) another loss. The former Mariner pitched a complete game but couldn't outduel Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma and two relievers in the end.

The victory gave Seattle (11-16) its first four-game series win over the Angels since 2003. It also marked the first time this season that the Mariners have won back-to-back games.

Iwakuma was remarkably effective once again despite having his innings limited by a pre-existing blister on his pitching hand. Iwakuma gave up three hits and an unearned run while striking out eight in six innings of work.

Vargas was just as good despite the homers. He went eight innings and allowed just six hits in his first game at Safeco Field as a visiting starter.

Vargas and Iwakuma kept the bats at bay for five innings of scoreless baseball, combining to allow just five hits along the way.

Iwakuma struck the side in the third inning, giving him five strikeouts in the first three innings. He had a string of 11 consecutive outs before Andrew Romine led off the sixth with a single to rightfield. After Peter Bourjos bunted Romine over to second, the Angels finally got a run on the board thanks to a costly error from Mariners shortstop Robert Andino.

Mike Trout's groundball went under Andino's mitt and into shallow leftfield, allowing Romine to score from second base for an unearned run and a 1-0 lead.

The Mariners finally scored on Vargas when Bay, who is in his first year with the Mariners, led off the seventh with a home run to tie the score 1-1.

After Seattle setup man Carter Capps (2-1) pitched his second scoreless inning in the top of the eighth, Morse hit a one-out solo shot to leftfield to give Seattle a 2-1 lead. Morse, who played with the Washington Nationals last season, went 2 for 4 Sunday after getting just one hit in his first 10 at-bats of the homestand.

The Mariners' Tom Wilhelmsen earned his second consecutive save and his eighth of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth. He is 8 for 8 in save opportunities this season and has now retired 18 of 19 batters over his past six saves.

Seattle's Kyle Seager went 0 for 4, ending the longest hitting streak in baseball this season at 16 games.

NOTES: The Angels officially named Tommy Hanson as Monday's starter at Oakland. Hanson is currently on the bereavement list, and Los Angeles would have to make a roster move before activating him. ... Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak got his first day off Sunday, when Kendrys Morales moved to first base and catcher Jesus Montero served as designated hitter. ... Mariners manager Eric Wedge said centerfielder Michael Saunders could come off the disabled list as soon as Monday. Saunders is scheduled to play in centerfield for Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday. "If all goes well," Wedge said, "he'll be up here (Monday)."
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