Bridwell, Paxton duel before Angels breakout, beat Mariners
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Angels and Mariners closed out the season with a pitchers’ duel.
Parker Bridwell pitched seven scoreless innings in a showdown with James Paxton, Eric Young Jr. hit a three-run homer and Los Angeles beat Seattle 6-2 in the teams’ season finale Sunday.
Paxton shut out Los Angeles for six innings, but Young homered off James Pazos during a six-run seventh inning.
“It always feels good to win,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
Bridwell (10-3) allowed three hits and a walk while striking out three. Acquired in a trade with Baltimore in April, Bridwell finished the year with a 3.64 ERA. The Angels were 18-3 in games Bridwell appeared this season.
“I think he pitched to his potential,” Scioscia said. “I don’t think this is a guy that was overwhelmed. He can do so much with the baseball, just getting the opportunity was what he was waiting for.”
Paxton threw six scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and struck out nine in his best start since returning from the disabled list in mid-September. He ended the season 12-5 with a 2.98 ERA.
“I felt like I was back to a 100 percent form, feeling really good,” Paxton said. “It was good to get that feeling back before the end of the season.”
Los Angeles finished 80-82, falling short of .500 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1992-93. The Angels went into the final week of the season with a chance at the playoffs, but finished losing 11 of 15.
The Mariners (78-84) fell eight games off their 86-76 record from last season.
“It was a rough season for us, obviously due to injuries and stuff,” Paxton said. “I thought we did nice job of hanging in there.
“Coming in next year, I think we have a really good core, and as long as we can stay healthy, we’re going to be really competitive.”
The Angels opened their seventh-inning rally against Shae Simmons (0-2) with a walk and then a single from Shane Robinson. Seattle failed on both ends of a close double-play attempt on C.J. Cron’s bouncer that loaded the bases.
Cliff Pennington’s fly sacrificed in the first run. After a walk that loaded the bases again, Juan Graterol added a second sacrifice fly.
Ben Revere greeted Pazos with a run-scoring single before Young launched his three-run homer. It was Young’s fourth home run.
Seattle avoided a shutout on Mike Marjama’s home run off reliever Jose Alvarez. Marjama’s first career homer came on his ninth career at-bat. Daniel Vogelbach added an RBI double in the ninth.
THE BRIDWELL SURPRISE
Little attention was paid when the Angels bought Bridwell from the Orioles. He was assigned to Triple-A before getting a call-up in mid-June.
“You can look at where he came from - the bullpen, the minor leagues and all kinds of things that were happening,” Scioscia said. “All of a sudden he comes here and wins 10 games.
“He just needed the opportunity. Parker has worked very hard and had a tremendous first shot at the big leagues and we’re confident it will continue.”
Bridwell said he learned one thing in his four months in the majors.
“That I can pitch here. That I belong,” he said. “It’s just executing pitches. It’s more location than velocity in the big leagues. I realized that before I got here, but after pitching for four months, you understand it a little more.”
PAXTON OF OLD
The left-hander was off to a terrific season, starting 12-3 with a 2.78 ERA, before he strained his pectoral muscle on Aug. 10 pitching against the Angels. In his first three games back, he was 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA.
Which made his performance Sunday all the more encouraging.
“It was important,” Paxton said. “The last time out against the A’s, I felt like I was really close. And today I made that final jump to get back to where I was before my injury. Getting this one was important for me, going into the offseason, knowing that I was back.”
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