ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels could not have dug themselves a hole much deeper than the one they found themselves in Thursday night at Angel Stadium.
Down seven runs and facing one of the game's best pitchers in Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez, the Angels seemed to be not just in a hole, but buried in it.
A run here, a three-run homer there, and suddenly the Angels got back into it, then completed the improbable comeback when Alberto Callaspo walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth to force home what turned out to be the winning run in a 10-9 victory.
"I think it's been a while since we played so free," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You're down 8-1 and these guys played the way we need to get after it every night. In the batter's box, it seemed guys would have the quality at-bat. We ran the bases the way we need to. And on the defensive side we made the plays we needed to. I just like the feel of the club, especially when we were down."
Although the Angels rallied from deficits of 7-0 and 8-1 to tie the game at 8-8, Seattle's Kyle Seager had an RBI double in the top of the eighth -- his fourth hit of the game -- that gave the Mariners a 9-8 lead. But in the bottom of the eighth, Erick Aybar's RBI single tied it before Mariners reliever Yoervis Medina walked Callaspo with two outs and the bases loaded to force home the game-winner.
One night after beating the Mariners 1-0, the Angels totaled 17 hits, including four from Mike Trout, three from Peter Bourjos and two each from Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick, Aybar and Callaspo. Every hitter in the lineup had at least one hit except for Josh Hamilton, who was 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly.
"We were just battling, having some good at-bats and we strung some runs together," Trout said. "Tonight was exciting. It was back and forth the whole night, and we kept fighting."
Scott Downs (1-2), one of five Angels relievers to pitch in the game, earned the victory, and Ernesto Frieri pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save. Carter Capps (2-2) took the loss for Seattle.
"That's why you play for nine innings," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "The bullpen obviously didn't get it done. It's a tough game from an emotional standpoint. You take that big lead and do a lot of good things and you give it back."
The Angels scored runs in the third and fourth innings to make it 8-2, but the rally officially got started in the fifth.
Bourjos led off with a home run, starting a stretch of seven consecutive hits by the Angels off Hernandez. They included an RBI single by Pujols and the big blow: a three-run home run by Mark Trumbo that made it 8-7. The seven consecutive hits tied an Angels record set in 2002.
Hernandez finished the fifth inning with the lead, but he was finished for the night as well. In the sixth, Bourjos led off with a single and eventually scored on another RBI single by Pujols that tied the game at 8.
Hernandez gave up seven runs (six earned) and 12 hits in five innings.
"He just had a bad day," Wedge said. "They started to square him up, but you know, he's human. Every now and then you see that he is human. It's the big leagues, and he had a bad day."
Angels starter Tommy Hanson had a bad day himself -- he didn't even make it out of the third inning, giving up seven runs and six hits in two-plus innings.
"I think I was pulling my pitches, they were getting too much of the plate, and they let me know," Hanson said. "Obviously I didn't go out and throw the way I wanted to, but it's not the first time I've been roughed up and it's not going to be the last. So I just tried to root my teammates on, and it was a big win for us today."
It was clear from the beginning that Hanson was not at his best, as the first three Mariners had hits. Endy Chavez doubled, Nick Franklin singled home Chavez, and Seager hit a two-run homer for a 3-0 Seattle lead.
Hanson managed to retire the Mariners in order in the second, but after the first four batters of the third inning all reached base, he was replaced by Garrett Richards. The Mariners kept the pressure on Richards and wound up scoring four runs in the inning, three of them charged to Hanson, for a 7-0 lead.
NOTES: Downs has not allowed a run in his last 18 appearances, and he has allowed only one earned run in his last 27 appearances, covering 17 innings. Left-handed hitters are batting .184 (7-for-38) against him; right-handed hitters are batting .306 (11-for-36). ... Aybar, who went 2-for-4, is hitting .400 (12-for-30) over his past eight games, raising his average from .257 to .275. He was back in the leadoff spot Thursday for the 32nd time this season. He has hit .261 (35-for-134) batting leadoff this year. ... Mariners LHP Oliver Perez has held opponents scoreless in 26 of his 29 appearances this season. His 1.05 ERA ranks third best among American League relievers.