SEATTLE – The Los Angeles Angels are looking to turn things around after dropping two out of three at home against the Texas Rangers. The club traveled to Seattle to play the first of a four game series against the Mariner’s at Safeco Field Thursday night. Unfortunately, Garrett Richards (1-1) looked less than comfortable in his third outing giving up five earned runs and nine hits through seven innings.
Conversely, Seattle’s Brandon Maurer (a product of Orange Lutheran H.S.) looked solid in his 7 1/3 innings. Maurer was extremely effective against Angel batters utilizing a 95 mph fastball and a deceptive slider, shutting out the Halos for a 6-0 victory. Josh Hamilton told Mike DiGiovanna at the LA Times:
The first inning, he showed 95 mph, then he went back to his sinkers. When he needed to come in with a little run on it, he would at 93-94 mph. The name of the game is keeping guys off-balance, so he did a good job.
The Halos are currently 9-13 (.409) and 6.5 back in the AL West. In the last 11 games they have posted a record of 6-5 showing inconsistency both at the plate and on the mound. The club is ranked second in BA (.275) with right fielder Peter Bourjos leading the team with a .319 AVG. One area of increasing concern is the Angels rotation – currently ranked 29th with a 4.87 ERA.
In the second game of a four game series, C.J. Wilson (1-0, 4.13) faced Seattle’s Aaron Harang (0-2, 10.24) Friday night. Although it wasn’t perfect, Wilson went 5.1 innings giving up 7 hits and 3 earned runs. Most impressive was his nine strikeouts and 2 walks. The win didn’t come without some stellar defense – most notably from second baseman Howie Kendrick who made a game saving play in the 7th inning by eliminating a potential RBI single that would have brought the M’s within striking distance. Hank Conger and Mark Trumbo both went yard against Harang, each hitting two-run HR’s (it was Conger’s first of the season). Overall the offense showed far more life Friday night – scoring six-runs on eight hits against the M’s pitching staff.