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Trout's catch saves Angels

The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Trout has been compared to Mickey Mantle, but C.J. Wilson took it one step further Wednesday night after he and Trout teamed up to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Trout made the defensive play of the night, robbing Mike Zunino of extra bases and potentially two RBIs with a leaping catch at the fence in left field, preserving the lead, and ultimately the game.

"It's Mike Trout, put a cape on him," Wilson said. "He's great out there."

Wilson (6-5) threw seven scoreless innings, yielding just two hits and never allowing a Mariners baserunner to get past second base.

"My game plan against these guys is to tilt towards movement," Wilson said. "They have enough guys with enough power that if you throw the ball right down the middle to try to get ahead, they're going to whack it."

Seattle starter Joe Saunders was almost as good as Wilson. Almost.

Saunders (5-7) gave up one run and six hits in eight innings, but Trout did just enough to give Wilson and his teammates the margin for victory. Trout legged out a double to lead off the sixth inning, tagged up and went to third on Albert Pujols' flyout to right, then scored on a wild pitch that squirted about 15 feet away from catcher Mike Zunino.

"Always," Trout said when asked if he was thinking two bases out of the batter's box. "I don't ever really think of a single unless it's right up the middle. If the ball's in the gap, I'm thinking three. Out of the box, I told myself, 'Hey, I'm going to take a chance.'"

In the seventh, Trout saved Wilson with his glove. The Mariners had runners on first and second with two outs when Zunino hit Wilson's 113th -- and final -- pitch of the night to deep left field, but Trout made the catch while crashing into the fence.

"Nobody else in the game catches that ball," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "I thought it was going to be out of here, but it must've had a little bit of top spin. A ball that's hit that hard, not real high right over your head, and to get back like he did and catch it, nobody else in the game does that."

Trout said he knew he could catch it.

"Off the bat I knew he hit it good, but at night the ball doesn't travel as well," Trout said. "I got to the track and just told myself, 'Jump,' and I jumped and came down with it."

Scott Downs relieved Wilson to start the eighth and retired the side in order. Ernesto Frieri pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save.

Both Saunders and Wilson pitched well in the early innings. The Mariners' biggest early threat came in the second inning when they had runners on first and second with two outs, but Wilson got out of it when Michael Saunders popped out to shortstop Erick Aybar.

The Angels had a scoring chance in the third inning after Peter Bourjos doubled and went to third when Trout reached on an error by second baseman Nick Franklin with one out. Pujols hit into an inning-ending double play.

"He was good, he was really good, against a real tough lineup," Wedge said of Joe Saunders. "He did a great job with his fastball, changeup, started mixing in his breaking ball later in the game. He got some big double plays, put the ball in the ground when he needed to and kept them off balance."

NOTES: Angels RF Josh Hamilton was dropped to No. 7 in the batting order, one day after going 0-for-5 while striking out twice and grounding into three double plays. It was the first time Hamilton, who is hearing boos from the hometown fans, hit in the seventh spot since 2009. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Wednesday. ... Pujols hit his 487th career home run Tuesday, which ranks 28th all-time. At his current pace this season (one home run every six games), Pujols would reach No. 500 in the Angels' 150th game of the season -- Sept. 16 in Oakland. ... Mariners 1B Justin Smoak was back on the bench, one day after coming off the disabled list and hitting a home run. Michael Morse, who is nursing a sore quadriceps muscle and isn't ready to go back to the outfield yet, started at first base. ... Franklin went 0-for-4, ending his seven-game hitting streak. During the streak, he hit .370 (10-for-27) with three runs, three doubles, one home run, three RBIs, one stolen base and three walks. Franklin started the season at Triple-A Tacoma before being called up May 27.
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