Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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Bottom Of Order Leads Angels Over Mariners

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[May 28, 2014]  SEATTLE -- Their ace was battling all night, the top of their order was scuffling, and their closer struggled to finish the ninth inning, but the Los Angeles Angels still found a way to beat the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

The Angels used a slew of doubles and a solo home run from rookie designated hitter C.J. Cron to carve out a 6-4 win on a night when there were plenty of things not working.

Second baseman Howie Kendrick, center fielder Mike Trout and first baseman Albert Pujols -- the 1-2-3 hitters in the Los Angeles order -- went a combined 1-for-13, but the bottom six hitters went 10-for-26 while accounting for four of the team's five RBIs.

Starting pitcher Jered Weaver was out of sorts from the start of his pre-game bullpen session but still found a way to earn his fifth win in six starts. Weaver (6-3) pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs while striking out five.

"I thought he pitched without his best stuff tonight, and he got through six innings," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Weaver said he could tell during his pre-game warmup that his fastball command wasn't there, and he tipped off catcher Chris Iannetta about his concerns.

"I told Chris before the game: 'It's one of those days we're going to have to go out and battle,'" Weaver said. "And we were able to do that tonight."

Los Angeles (29-22) had six extra-base hits, including five doubles. Four of the doubles came in a three-run second inning that helped the Angels jump out to a 3-0 lead.

The Angels were leading 5-3 in the eighth when Cron delivered the big blow with a solo shot off Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen.

That appeared to be enough to put the Angels in control, but Frieri made the game interesting in the ninth. After retiring the first two batters he faced, Frieri walked two batters sandwiched around Robinson Cano's RBI single as the Mariners pulled within 6-4.

With two out and two runners on base, Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager drove a ball deep into left-center field, but outfielder Mike Trout caught it a few steps away from the warning track to give Frieri his seventh save of the season.

"We battled back in that ballgame, but that's the way it goes," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Seattle starter Roenis Elias went 6 1/3 innings while giving up five earned runs off eight hits. Five of the Angels' eight hits off Elias (3-4) were doubles, and four of the players that hit them came around to score.

"He gave us a chance," McClendon said.

The Angels turned four second-inning doubles into a 3-0 lead. Third baseman David Freese, Cron and shortstop Erick Aybar opened the inning with back-to-back-to-back doubles to score a pair of runs before Iannetta added a one-out, RBI double that scored Aybar.

Seattle got one run back on second baseman Nick Franklin's RBI single in the bottom of the second before the Angels added a run on a bases-loaded groundout in the top of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead.

Weaver struck out three of the first five batters and had a 4-1 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning before allowing Seattle to get back into the game.

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Smoak opened the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run, then a bases-loaded wild pitch by Weaver brought home another run as Seattle cut the deficit to 4-3.

Reliever Sean Burnett came on for Weaver to open the sixth but lasted just six pitches before coming out of the game with elbow pain. Burnett was making just his third appearance after missing most of the 2013 season with an elbow injury that required surgery.

Burnett is scheduled to return to Southern California on Wednesday for a checkup, and he was so distraught in the clubhouse late Tuesday night that he broke down in tears during a session with the media.

"We're praying it's nothing serious," Weaver said. "He worked his (behind) off through the whole (rehab) process."

NOTES: Tests revealed that Angels OF Josh Hamilton has a bone bruise in his thumb, which probably means his targeted return to action this week will be delayed. Hamilton has been out since April 8 due to a torn ligament in his thumb, but he appeared to be on track toward returning this week while doing a rehab assignment at Triple-A. Hamilton got jammed by a pitch over the weekend and missed two games, leading team doctors to take a second look at the injury. ... A Tuesday MRI revealed inflammation in the throwing shoulder of Mariners LHP James Paxton, who complained of soreness after his recent rehab start at Triple-A Tacoma. Paxton, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since early April because of soreness in his lat muscle, could be shut down for five to seven days before the Mariners begin planning his next rehab start. ... Angels OF Mike Trout is leading all players in the American League All-Star voting results that were released by the league Tuesday, with 764,007 votes. Toronto OF Jose Bautista (675,290) and Yankees SS Derek Jeter (602,525) were the only other players in the AL with more than 600,000 votes. ... Los Angeles 1B Albert Pujols is second among first basemen in the All-Star voting, trailing Detroit's Miguel Cabrera by almost 70,000 votes. ... Mariners 2B Robinson Cano served as the designated hitter for the fourth time this season and the second time in a week. Manager Lloyd McClendon said he is just trying to give Cano's legs a rest whenever the opportunity presents itself. ... The Angels still have not named a Thursday starter. Manager Mike Scioscia said before Tuesday's game that LHP Wade LeBlanc was the likely starter, but the injury that is expected to land reliever Sean Burnett on the disabled list could open up a spot for Matt Shoemaker to return to the rotation.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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