Mariners edge Angels in 10 innings

Joe Haakenson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Kendrys Morales was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts when he came to bat in the top of the 10th inning Tuesday night, not exactly the way he would have wanted to show his former team why it was a mistake to trade him. But as they say in baseball, it only takes one.
Morales' line drive off the tip of Erick Aybar's glove trickled into shallow left field and scored Kyle Seager from second base, lifting the Seattle Mariners to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
Seager doubled with two outs off Angels reliever Garrett Richards (2-4) before Morales, traded during the offseason for pitcher Jason Vargas, hit a full-count pitch toward Aybar. The Angels shortstop leaped but could only deflect the ball, and Seager scored without a play.
Charlie Furbush (1-3) struck out the only batter he faced to earn the win, finishing the bottom of the ninth inning after the Angels began the frame by putting runners on first and second with none out. Yoervis Medina pitched the 10th inning to earn his first save and gave Mariners manager Eric Wedge something to smile about in what has otherwise been a rough season.
"The guys did a great job of fighting," Wedge said. "(Starting pitcher Jeremy) Bonderman did a great job, and you keep the lead and work hard to keep the lead, and they tie it back up. Especially when you're the visiting team, it can be tough. But our guys kept their cool and kept fighting through it.
"Morales had a tough night, then he gets a huge hit. Seager with a big double, then you're using a guy (Medina) that hasn't closed before. So it was a heckuva win for us."
Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak hit home runs on back-to-back pitches in the second inning off Angels starter Joe Blanton, and for most of the game, it appeared the lead would stand up.
Bonderman, who missed all of the 2011 and 2012 seasons because of injuries, continued his resurgence with another solid outing, holding the Angels to one run on six hits in six innings. The Angels' only run off Bonderman came on Mark Trumbo's home run in the second inning, his 16th of the season.
In the eighth, Albert Pujols got a hold of a pitch from Mariners reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, sending it over the fence in left field for his 12th home run of the season, tying the game at 2.
Blanton pitched well, other than the two pitches that wound up in the seats. He went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and six hits, and he tied a career high with 11 strikeouts.
"Home runs happen," Blanton said. "I attacked the zone -- one pitch should have been a little more in, and I attacked the zone on the next one -- ambushed, same spot."
The Angels had opportunities to score throughout the game, putting at least one runner on base in every inning but the 10th. However, Josh Hamilton hit into double plays in the first, third and fifth innings. In the seventh inning, Hamilton couldn't hit into a double play because there were two outs. With the potential tying run on second base, Hamilton struck out.
Hearing boos from the hometown crowd, Hamilton had a chance to make up for everything in the bottom of the ninth, coming up with the potential winning run on second base and two outs and facing Furbush. He struck out again and finished the night 0-for-5.
"There are times we're not seeing that quality at-bat, that strong swing on the ball that he seemingly did so effortlessly for a long time," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Hamilton. "It could be that he's inching toward that goal, and when he gets there, he'll find it and keep it."
NOTES: Smoak was activated from the disabled list and started at first base. Smoak had not played in the majors since May 29 because of a strained oblique muscle in his right side. ... Mariners INF Alex Liddi was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma to make room on the roster for Smoak. Liddi has played in eight games with the Mariners this season, including four starts at first base. He hit .059 (1-for-17). ... Mariners 1B/OF Michael Morse did not play. He has been bothered lately by a sore quadriceps muscle and got the day off. ... Pujols is hitting .481 (13-for-27) in his past six games, including two three-hit games and one four-hit game. He has raised his average to .266, the highest it's been since he was batting .268 on April 26.

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