SEATTLE -- Parker Bridwell allowed one run on four hits for his fifth win in seven starts, and the Angels toppled the Mariners, 4-2, at Safeco Field on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.After winning a season-high six games in a row, Los Angeles holds a half-game lead for the
SEATTLE -- Parker Bridwell allowed one run on four hits for his fifth win in seven starts, and the Angels toppled the Mariners, 4-2, at Safeco Field on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.
After winning a season-high six games in a row, Los Angeles holds a half-game lead for the second American League Wild Card spot, while the Mariners, who entered the series in that position, are now two games back for the last playoff spot.
"We swung the bats pretty consistently all series and it comes down to holding leads, but there's not just one thing," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You have to play good baseball. A couple of these games could have easily swung the other way. Our bullpen did a great job. I think we're playing with some consistency."
With Sunday's outing, Bridwell (7-1, 2.88 ERA) has allowed two or fewer runs in nine of his last 11 starts,and the Angels are 11-1 this season when he toes the rubber. Keynan Middleton earned his second save of the season by inducing back-to-back flyouts after allowing three hits among Seattle's first four batters in the ninth.
• Unheralded rookie Bridwell continues to impress
"I've just kind of gotten more in a groove," Bridwell said. "The way I like to pound the zone, it's kind of my game every time. If I can do that, execute pitches and just throw strikes, I think my game will come."
The Angels scored three runs in what proved to be a decisive fifth-inning outburst, sparked by mistakes from Mariners pitchers. Ariel Miranda walked Michael Trout, who advanced to third on Jose Pujols' single to left field and scored on Andrelton Simmons' sacrifice fly to center. Jefry Marte worked a walk to chase Miranda from the game, then Mariners reliever James Pazos walked Kole Calhoun and allowed a single to Martin Maldonado with the bases loaded for the final two Angels runs.
For the Mariners, Nelson Cruz tallied his 15th RBI in 11 games with a sacrifice fly in the first inning to score Yonder Alonso, who barely beat Trout's throw from center field, and put the Mariners up 1-0. And Jarrod Dyson poked an RBI single to left field in the ninth to bring in the Mariners' second run of the game.
Miranda was handed the loss, allowing four runs on four hits with six walks and six strikeouts.
"I think the thing that got [Miranda] today was the walks," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He had six [walks]. You got to get back to controlling the strike zone. That's what we're about, in the batter's box and on the mound. And we did not do that this weekend."
• Mariners looking to turn the page
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hangin' on: Middleton earned his second save of the season by inducing back-to-back flyouts after allowing three hits among Seattle's first four batters in the ninth, including a leadoff infield single from Robinson Cano and a double from Cruz.
"Keynan answered the bell this week," Scioscia said. "It's one thing when you go and have a clean inning. It's another thing when you get second and third and they have three shots at tying it. I think he kept his composure. I think Martin did a great job with him, and he made pitches and got out of the jam."
Cron gets a hold of one: C.J. Cron homered off Miranda to tie the game 1-1 in the third. His 415-foot shot was struck with an exit velocity of 113.9 mph, the highest of any Angels homer this season.
"Just wanted to be aggressive, hopefully swing at something in my zone," Cron said. "It was down and in, and I put a good swing on it."
"Guys coming out of the 'pen, that first hitter you face is the absolute most important. And we didn't do a good job out of the bullpen with the first hitter. We gave up a lot of walks, deep counts, instead of coming in and attacking. We've got to get back to attacking again." -- Servais, on a Mariners bullpen that allowed 13 runs in the four-game series
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Angels swept a four-game road series for the first time since September 2014 at Minnesota.
Angels: The Angels are off Monday before opening a two-game Interleague set against the Nationals on Tuesday night at 4:05 p.m. PT at Nationals Park. Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (1-2, 3.63 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the opener and make his third start since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 5.
Mariners:Yovani Gallardo will toe the rubber as the Mariners commence a three-game series against the Orioles at Safeco Field on Monday. He's 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts since being put back into Seattle's rotation on July 23. Game time is 7:10 p.m. PT.
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Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.