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Maurer sharp as Mariners shut out Angels

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Orange County native Brandon Maurer made certain that the struggling Los Angeles Angels didn't get well at Safeco Field on Thursday night.

The Seattle Mariners' rookie pitcher had his third consecutive solid start, throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings to beat the Angels 6-0 in a battle of AL West disappointments. Maurer, who grew up 15 minutes from the Angels' home stadium, scattered seven hits while benefitting from three inning-ending double plays to beat his favorite childhood team.

Angels stars Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton each had singles, but none of them got as far as second base.

"They're well-known hitters, but you still have to go out and throw what you throw," Maurer said after lowering his season ERA to 5.61. "You can't really look at the names on their backs."

It marked the third loss in four games for the Angeles (8-13), while the Mariners (9-15) ended a two-game skid.

The Mariners' Kyle Seager continued his recent offensive tear by going 3-for-4 with three RBI. Seager extended his hitting streak to 14 games -- he's hitting .412 during that span -- and blew the game open with a two-run homer in the eighth.

"Nice to get the homestand started off on a good note," said Seager, who is now hitting .306 for the season.

The biggest hit of the night came from the unlikely bat of Mariners outfielder Carlos Peguero, a recent Triple-A call-up who officially made his 2013 debut with a mammoth, 451-foot home run to centerfield to lead off the third inning in his first Mariners at-bat of the season.

It marked the third-longest home run in Safeco Field history and the longest since Raul Ibanez's 460-foot shot in 2007.

"I just tried to make contact with the ball and have a good at-bat," said Peguero, whose home run came 11 feet short of Barry Bonds' stadium record homer in 2006.

The Angels had significantly less power, putting together seven singles while failing to deliver in the clutch. Inning-ending double plays took Los Angeles out of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

"We weren't able to string hits together, and the double-play balls got us," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "... We hit a couple of balls hard, but not a lot to show for it."

Maurer, whose first two starts saw Seattle get hammered by an aggregate score of 24-11, continued his recent run of success with a 6 1/3-inning, seven-hit performance against the underachieving Angels' bats. He used two inning-ending strikeouts to keep Los Angeles off the scoreboard before relievers Carter Capps and Tom Wilhelmsen finished off Seattle's fourth shutout win of the season.

"One thing he did was he pounded the strike zone," Scioscia said. "Especially after he got the lead, he pitched a strong game for them."

Seattle hit into four double plays but got more than enough offense to extend the Angels' misery.

After Peguero led off the third inning with a home run, Seager extended his hitting streak with an RBI single to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.

In the seventh, Jason Bay drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single.

After Seattle's Endy Chavez collected his third hit with a leadoff single in the eighth, Seager welcomed reliever Nick Maronde to the game by hitting his third home run of the season. That gave the Mariners more than four runs in a game for only the second time in their past 15 outings.

In seven of Seattle's nine wins this season, the Mariners have held opponents to one run or fewer.

The Mariners had 11 hits but left just two runners on base Thursday.

Angels starter Garrett Richards (1-1) allowed five runs on nine hits in seven-plus innings.

NOTES: Before the game, the Angels called up RHP Barry Enright from Triple-A Salt Lake. Enright took the roster spot vacated when RHP David Carpenter was optioned to Salt Lake on Wednesday. ... The Mariners have not won consecutive games since starting the season 2-0. ... Seattle LF Michael Morse got the night off, pushing 1B Justin Smoak into the cleanup spot and 2B Dustin Ackley into the No. 5 hole. Smoak and Ackley went a combined 1-for-7. ... Mariners DH Kendrys Morales, facing his former team for the first time, went 1-for-4.
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