Ian Snell is making his sixth start of the season for Seattle, and he’ll face an Angels lineup without Kendry Morales and Torii Hunter – both injured in Saturday’s 10-inning, 5-1 Mariners loss.
That won’t help the Angels, obviously, but it won’t be as big a difference for Snell as you might think. Unlike the Mariners, the Angels have more than a couple of productive hitters.
Combined, for instance, Bobby Abreu, Hideki Matsui, Juan Rivera and Mike Napoli have 25 home runs this season. The entire Seattle lineup has 21.
It’s Snell vs. Joe Saunders, the Mariners vs. the Angels, with ground to be gained or lost in the American League West.
- Chone Figgins singled with one out and took third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single by Franklin Gutierrez. Cleanup hitter Milton Bradley struck out. Mike Sweeney flied out. In the first: A missed opportunity.
- Erick Aybar singled and, two outs later, Hideki Matsui hit his seventh home run. Snell threw 29 pitches – hardly the aggressive start the Mariners hoped to see. In the first: Los Angeles 2, Seattle 0.
- The weirdness of this series continues. With two outs, Eliezar Alfonzo singld – and Josh Wilson hit a line drive off the leg of second-base umpire Brian Knight for a single. Ichiro singled home Alfonzo, but Wilson – trying to score from first base – was thrown out. In the second: Los Angeles 2, Seattle 1.
- Snell pitched a scoreless second inning, but whatever aggression he showed out of the bullpen hasn’t carried over. To get six outs, Snell has thrown 49 pitches – walking two batters, going deep in the count to most everyone else. At this pace, he’s not long for this game.
- Mike Sweeney singled to lead off the fourth inning and took third when Jose Lopez singled into right field. With one out, Alfonzo homered, his first. In the fourth: Seattle 4, Los Angeles 2.
- Given that two-run lead, Snell seemed to change his approach – he retired the Angels in order on 10 pitches in the fourth.
- Bradley walked and, with one out, Lopez walked. Casey Kotchman singled Bradley home, chasing Saunders. Trevor Bell in to pitch. Alfonzo singled – his third hit today – to drive in Lopez. Josh-not-Jack Wilson singled home Lopez, Alfonzo thrown out at thid base.In the fifth: Seattle 7, Los Angeles 2.
- Snell cost himself the chance to ge5t a win, walking the first two men he faced in the fifth inning. That got him a hook. Now pitching: Jesus Colome. With one out, Colome walked Abreu, loading the bases. If Wakamatsu had a board handy, he’d likely whack Colome with it. Matsui popped out on the first pitch he saw. Juan Rivera walked, forcing in a run. Napoli struck out. After five: Seattle 7, Los Angeles 3.
- In the sixth: Kanekoa Texeira pitching for Seattle. With two outs, Reggie Willits singled and went to third on Aybar’s double. Maicer Izturis walked, loading ‘em up. Abreu walked, forcing in a run. Shawn Kelley replaced Texeira. Catchers interference was called, putting Matsui on first and pushing home another run. Rivera popped out. After six: Seattle 7, Los Angeles 5.
- It’s the bottom of the seventh, Kelley on the mound, and in the bullpen warming up: David Aardsma. Brandon League isn’t available, so it’s either Aardsma or Ryan Rowland-Smith after Kelley.
- With one out, Howie Kendrick homered. After seven: Seattle 7, Los Angeles 6.
- Kelley got through the eighth, striking out two Angels along the way, and has delivered a one-run lead to the ninth inning and Aardsma. In a day of mediocrity on the mound, Kelley stood apart. Fine work.
- Bottom of th ninth: Aardsma time. With the chance to gain a game in the division standings, win this series and pick up their 20th victory of the season, Seattle failed. Matsui led off with a walk. Rivera flied to the fence in center field. Napoli singled off Aardsma’s glove. Kendrick homered. It’s a final: Los Angeles 9, Seattle 7.