Haniger, Seager rally Mariners to 6-4 win over Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Just the night before, Seattle had felt the sting of a late Los Angeles comeback. For the season, the Angels had taken 10 of 16 games from the Mariners.
But on Saturday night, Seattle reversed the story line, rallying with five runs in the eighth inning to beat Los Angeles 6-4 behind a three-run homer from Kyle Seager and five hits from rookie Mitch Haniger.
Edwin Diaz, who gave up the decisive hit Friday during the Angels’ four-run rally in the eighth, entered this one with the bases loaded in the eighth, two outs, and Mike Trout at the plate.
“Facing the best hitter in the world,” Diaz said.
Trout lifted a little fly to shallow right that left Haniger charging from the outfield and Robinson Cano going out from second base. Both called for the ball. At the last moment, Cano reached over his shoulder to make the catch.
“That’s one of those plays as an outfielder, you try to go low,” Haniger said. “I feel like hopefully I would have had a chance to catch it if he didn’t get to it. Luckily he got there. That’s one of those no-man’s-land balls and he made a great play.”
Haniger had three doubles and two singles. Seattle was trailing 4-1 with reliever Cam Bedrosian (6-5) on the mound when Haniger led off the eighth with his fourth hit.
Cano’s hot grounder then went under the glove of first baseman C.J. Cron for a single.
Nelson Cruz singled up the middle to score the inning’s first run before Seager’s 27th home run gave Seattle a 5-4 lead. Yonder Alonso’s solo homer ended Bedrosian’s night.
“He just had trouble putting some hitters away and making some pitches,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Cam’s really thrown the ball well for us. Tonight was just a tough night.”
Mariners rookie Jacob Hannemann homered in the fifth for his first career extra-base hit. Casey Lawrence (2-3) earned the victory in relief, and Diaz got four outs for his 34th save.
Kole Calhoun homered for Los Angeles, and Albert Pujols had an RBI groundout that moved him past Eddie Murray for eighth place on the career list. Pujols has 1,918 RBIs, including 101 this season.
It wasn’t enough to overcome Seattle this time, not with Haniger getting a career-high five hits.
“He stays focused all the time,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He probably has one of the best approaches of anyone on the club. Especially for a younger player, he stays in the zone for a long time. And that’s what you saw tonight. He was not going to back off. He was not happy getting two hits or three hits or four. He went and got the fifth one. That says a lot about the kind of person he is.”
The defeat assured a losing season for Los Angeles (79-82).
END OF THE ROAD?
Ricky Nolasco started for the Angels, perhaps for the last time. The Angels can buy out his $13 million option for $1 million in the offseason.
Injuries forced the Angels to use Nolasco, 34, as their opening day starter. He ended the season 6-15 with a 4.92 ERA.
“Ricky’s a gamer,” Scioscia said. “He’ll go out there with subpar stuff and do everything he can to keep you in the game. I think you saw some of that tonight. He just battles out there. He’s pitched some really strong games for us this year. At times he struggled with some length. But one thing about Ricky, when he takes that ball he’s a bulldog.”
When scheduled starter Andrew Moore developed neck spasms before the game, Andrew Albers became Seattle’s emergency starter.
Albers, who last started on Sept. 9, went 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits.
“He’s a pro,” Servais said. “The guys like playing behind him because he’s really going to compete.”
Moore was scratched a few hours before the game. He ends the season 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-5, 3.12 ERA) starts the season finale Sunday. In 10 career starts against the Angels, he is 4-2 with a 2.26 ERA. Paxton is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in three starts since coming off the disabled list Sept. 15. He had been sidelined with a strained left pectoral muscle.
Angels: RHP Parker Bridwell (9-3, 3.87) has not allowed a stolen base in his first 19 starts for the Angels. They are 17-3 when he pitches.
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