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Pujols double helps Angels defeat Mariners


August 13, 2017 12:35 AM
SEATTLE -- Albert Pujols hit a two-run double to break a tie in the eighth inning and the Los Angeles Angels went on to defeat the Seattle Mariners 6-3 on Saturday night at Safeco Field.

The Angels (60-58) won their fifth straight game and took sole possession of the American League's second and final wild-card berth.

The Mariners (59-59) lost their third in a row. They are tied with Tampa Bay and Kansas City, one game behind the Angels, and one-half game behind Minnesota.

The Angels' Ben Revere and Mike Trout walked to open the eighth against Mariners reliever Tony Zych (5-3). Pujols then lined a shot into left-center field that rolled to the wall, scoring both runners. After Kole Calhoun singled to right, Pujols scored on a sacrifice fly by Andrelton Simmons.

Keynan Middleton (4-0) retired the only batter he faced, getting Nelson Cruz on a broken-bat groundout to end the seventh, to claim his second victory in as many days.

After Blake Parker pitched a scoreless eighth, Cam Bedrosian did the same in the ninth for his fifth save of the season.

The Angels' bullpen is 3-0 and has allowed three runs in 10 1/3 innings in the series. Mariners relievers are 0-3 and have allowed 13 runs (12 earned) in 10 2/3 innings.

Trailing 3-1, the Angels tied it in the seventh when Luis Valbuena hit a two-run homer off reliever Casey Lawrence. It was Valbuena's 12th homer of the season and his 12th career against Seattle in 159 at-bats.

That spoiled an outstanding start by the Mariners' Erasmo Ramirez, who allowed an unearned run and three hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out one.

The Mariners nearly regained the lead in the bottom of the inning as Yonder Alonso hit a one-out single to right field and tried to score on Robinson Cano's double into right-center field. But Alonso was thrown out at the plate by a strong relay throw from Simmons.

That wasn't the only out on the bases for the Mariners, who saw Jarrod Dyson and Leonys Martin get caught stealing in the sixth inning, the latter being picked off.

The Mariners opened the scoring in the third after Leonys Martin led off with a walk. Two outs later, Cano also walked before Nelson Cruz lined a run-scoring single to left field. Kyle Seager followed with a run-scoring single to right.

The Angels got one run back in the fifth, thanks to some slopping fielding.

C.J. Cron led off with a double to left-center field, but it appeared he'd be stranded when Valbuena grounded out and Martin Maldonado flied out to shallow right.

Cron, who had moved to third on the groundout, scored when Kaleb Cowart, the No. 9 batter in the lineup, hit a grounder to Alonso at first base. Although he had plenty of time to make an underhand toss to Ramirez, Alonso tried to flip the ball from his glove. The flip was high and caromed off Ramirez's glove, allowing Cowart to reach on the error and the Angels to pull within 2-1.

The Mariners regained the two-run advantage with two outs in the bottom of the inning as Seager hit a solo homer to right-center field, his 18th home run of the season.

JC Ramirez went five innings for the Angels, allowing three runs and seven hits. He walked three and struck out four.

NOTES: The Mariners retired hitting coach Edgar Martinez's jersey No. 11 in a pregame ceremony. ... The Angels activated RHP Andrew Bailey, who spent four months on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. Bailey was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three appearances before being sidelined. To make room on the roster for Bailey, OF Cesar Puello was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. ... The Mariners selected the contract of RHP Christian Bergman from Triple-A Tacoma and optioned rookie RHP Andrew Moore back to Tacoma. Moore was called up a day earlier, giving up four runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings of his first career relief appearance Friday night. ... Angels RHP Parker Bridwell (6-1, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to face Mariners LHP Ariel Miranda (7-5, 4.65) on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the four-game series.
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