ANAHEIM – C.J. Wilson‘s bobble head turned out to be the good luck charm many thought it would be. It’s just too bad the real C.J. couldn’t take the mound and stop the bleeding (and frustration) in the first inning at Angel Stadium Thursday night.
In what was a perfect night for baseball, the Los Angeles Angels (33-40) received a taste of their own medicine as the Seattle Mariners (32-42) opened up a can of offensive whoopass on resident ginger Tommy Hanson. Seattle hit early and often in the fourth and final game of the series. But just when most fans thought this one was over (myself included) the Halos would rally to make this one arguably the most exciting game of the series for the 37,711 fans in attendance.
After giving up three runs in the first inning and four runs in the third, Tommy Hanson (4-2, 5.10) left the game in the third inning after a mere 45 pitches. Garrett Richards came in for relief (sans the long hair) and proceeded to load ‘em up.
Fortunately, Richards would work out of the jam and the Angels lineup would get another crack at putting a few runs on the board – Erick Aybar would ground out to first scoring Chris Iannetta making it 8-1.
Then the fifth inning rolled around and that’s when the Angels bats finally woke up. Peter Bourjos homered to left off King Felix (8-4, 2.71) to start the inning. Albert Pujols singled to center scoring Erick Aybar while Mike Trout advanced to second. Mark Trumbo launched a three-run homer to center scoring Trout and Pujols putting the Angels within striking distance at 8-7.
Seattle made a move in the sixth bringing in Danny Farquhar to relieve King Felix. A red-hot Bourjos singled to center while Scioscia would use a little small ball to advance Bourjos to third on a familiar Aybar sacrifice. Farquar would intentionally walk Trout. Pujols singled to right center scoring Speedy Petey to knot the game up at eight. Trumbo and Kendrick would both go down swinging to end the inning.
After using De La Rosa and Jepson in the seventh and eight, Mike Scioscia called on the lefty Scott Downs to shut down the Mariners. But it’s rarely easy for Scotty Downs. Kyle Seager would bloop a double in front of Hamilton for yet another two out run before Downs could retire the side.
Aybar would tie it up at nine a side after ripping a hanging slider to shallow right scoring Bourjos who had stolen second and advanced to third thanks to a throwing error by Blanco. Seattle’s Medina would continue to struggle during the inning – with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the eighth Medina would serve up ball four to Alberto Callaspo handing the Angels the lead, 10-9.
Ernesto Frieri was asked to shut it down in the ninth and he didn’t disappoint. Ernasty was successful in getting Smoak to fly out to right and struck out Saunders with well-placed heat. Michael Morse came in to pinch hit for Blanco and went down swinging as the Angels ended this AL West gem in the win column.