for this game

Saunders picks up ninth win as Angels down Mariners

Jun 4, 2008 - 6:34 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- When people talked about the starting pitching for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before the season started, the names mentioned first were John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Two months into the campaign, little-known Joe Saunders has emerged as the ace of the staff.

Saunders pitched seven strong innings and Maicer Izturis drove in three runs to lead the Angels to a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.

With Escobar and Lackey injured at the start of the season and the latter having made just four starts since his return, Saunders has kept the staff afloat.

"I wouldn't have believed it, that's for sure," the 26-year-old Saunders said after recording his American League-leading ninth victory. "I don't know what's going on. The team is picking me up and I'm throwing some strikes and getting some key outs when I need to."

Izturis' three RBI backed Saunders, who had to overcome some shoddy fielding to get the Angels their fourth consecutive win.

The loss was the third in a row for the struggling Mariners, who fell 14 1/2 games behind the American League West Division-leading Angels.

Saunders (9-2) surrendered only six hits while walking one and striking out five en route to his third victory in as many starts against Seattle this year. Only one of the four runs he allowed was earned.

"You always dream about winning every game," said Saunders, who was 8-5 for the Angels last year in 18 starts. "It's a nice roll to be on."

The lefthander was trying to rebound from one of his roughest outings of the season, a 6-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers in which he gave up five runs, seven hits and a walk in five innings.

"Joe's on a great run," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He has the potential to do this. He has thrown the ball well for a long time, and he continues to do that."

Francisco Rodriguez worked the ninth inning for his major league-leading 23rd save.

Lefthander Erik Bedard (4-4) started for Seattle but lasted just 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs - four earned - and seven hits while walking three and striking out only one. In his previous outing, Bedard had pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing only two hits in a 1-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Already trailing, 3-0, Bedard was tagged for two more runs in the fourth on back-to-back run-scoring singles by Izturis and Howie Kendrick. R.A. Dickey came on to get the final two outs and wound up pitching 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

"Erik didn't have great stuff tonight," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "We made an error behind him and they had a lot of hits that weren't real good hits, some seeing-eye ground balls. But Dickey was spectacular. He couldn't throw any better. He was on top of his game."

Dickey's outing led McLaren to say he might give the knuckleballer a start sometime, but he was not specific about when that might be.

"He went out there and I thought he pitched better than Bedard," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. "He went out there and did his thing, and with knuckleballs, you don't know what you are going to do. Good luck."

Bedard, who was facing the Angels for the first time since May 27, 2006, saw his lifetime record against them drop to 1-4.

Jose Lopez's second home run in as many nights cut Seattle's deficit to 5-1 in the fourth.

The Mariners capitalized on two errors in the fifth to score three unearned runs and close within 5-4. After Yuniesky Betancourt doubled with two outs, Ichiro Suzuki followed with an infield hit.

Saunders got Lopez to ground to second, but Kendrick failed to come up with the ball, allowing Betancourt to score. Jose Vidro singled home a second run and Lopez scored when third baseman Robb Quinlan committed a throwing error on Raul Ibanez's grounder.

It was the first time since April 30 that the Angels committed two errors in a game.

"We did some things that are really uncharacteristic for us," Scioscia said. "We have been playing really sound defense, and it got away from us there in that one inning. But our pitchers, again, picked us up."

After Hunter opened the scoring in the first inning with an RBI double, Izturis' bases-loaded grounder that went under the glove of second baseman Lopez scored two runs in the second for a 3-0 bulge.

Tuesday marked the first time in 14 games the Angels' offense has scored at least five runs. However, the team is 10-4 during that stretch.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 10 2
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 4 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - JOE SAUNDERS, JOSE ARREDONDO (8TH), FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH)
    AND JEFF MATHIS
    SEA - ERIK BEDARD, R.A. DICKEY (4TH) AND JAMIE BURKE
    WP - JOE SAUNDERS (9-2)
    LP

    Jun 4 12:45 AM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 5 10 2
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 4 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LAA - JOE SAUNDERS, JOSE ARREDONDO (8TH), FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ (9TH)
    AND JEFF MATHIS
    SEA - ERIK BEDARD, R.A. DICKEY (4TH) AND JAMIE BURKE

    HOME RUNS: LAA - NONE
    SEA

    Jun 4 12:45 AM
  • 125
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 90 roots (Extra Innings)

    Angels 5, Mariners 4  Top 10, 0 OutsJun 4 12:45 AM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Angels 5, Mariners 4  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 4 12:35 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MAICER IZTURIS ALLOWED JOSE LOPEZ TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, R IBANEZ ON FIRST, J VIDRO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    SEATTLE 4 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: A BELTRE (.242, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 5, Mariners 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 3 11:48 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSE VIDRO SCORED ICHIRO SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J VIDRO ON FIRST, J LOPEZ ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    SEATTLE 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: R IBANEZ (.258, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Angels 5, Mariners 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 3 11:47 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY HOWIE KENDRICK ALLOWED YUNIESKY BETANCOURT TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J LOPEZ ON FIRST, I SUZUKI ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    SEATTLE 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J VIDRO (.227, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 5, Mariners 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 3 11:45 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOSE LOPEZ (4) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF JOE SAUNDERS.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5, SEATTLE 1
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J VIDRO (.228, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 5, Mariners 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsJun 3 11:20 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HOWIE KENDRICK SCORED JEFF MATHIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, H KENDRICK ON FIRST, M IZTURIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 5
    SEATTLE 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: T HUNTER (.277, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Angels 5, Mariners 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 3 11:10 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MAICER IZTURIS SCORED ROBB QUINLAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M IZTURIS ON FIRST, J MATHIS ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 4
    SEATTLE 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.373, 0-FOR-2)

    Angels 4, Mariners 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 3 11:08 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MAICER IZTURIS SCORED CASEY KOTCHMAN AND ROBB
    QUINLAN.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M IZTURIS ON FIRST, J MATHIS ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA ANGELS 3
    SEATTLE 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR LA ANGELS: H KENDRICK (.380, 0-FOR-1)

    Angels 3, Mariners 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJun 3 10:36 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA ANGELS 1 1 1 0
    SEATTLE 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: LAA - JOE SAUNDERS
    SEA - ERIK BEDARD

    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.288, 3 HR, 15 RBI)
    J LOPEZ (.300, 3 HR, 28 RBI)
    J VIDRO (.230, 3 HR, 27 RBI)

    Angels 1, Mariners 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 3 10:18 PM