Angels stun Mariners on wild pitch in 10th
ANAHEIM -- With the Mariners on the verge of getting out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the 10th inning on Sunday, reliever Tom Wilhelmsen threw a wild pitch that let Kole Calhoun race home with the winning run, giving the Angels a 3-2 walk-off win in the rubber game at Angel Stadium.
Johnny Giavotella and Calhoun led off the 10th with back-to-back singles, and Mike Trout was intentionally walked to load the bases for Albert Pujols. With the Mariners playing a six-man infield, Pujols hit into a double play -- shortstop to home to first. Wilhelmsen got two strikes on Kyle Kubitza, but bounced a pitch past catcher Mike Zunino, and Calhoun scored without a play.
"It was a changeup that cut on me instead of running away," said Wilhelmsen. "The ball doesn't usually do that, but it did today. Pretty costly."
Felix Hernandez allowed no runs on one hit but was removed after six innings after cramping up in the 90-degree heat, and the Angels got RBIs from Erick Aybar and Calhoun in the seventh and eighth, respectively, surviving the Mariners' ace thanks to seven dominant innings from Hector Santiago.
"That's just a great grind-it-out win against an incredible pitcher," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Felix is tough and Hector matched him pitch for pitch -- and that has to happen first to give yourself a chance."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Santiago also kingly: With Hernandez dealing, the Angels needed Santiago to rise to the challenge, and he did. The left-hander got better as he went on in his seven innings of one-run baseball -- he ended the sixth with back-to-back strikeouts of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz, then rolled through the seventh inning on four pitches. Santiago lowered his ERA to 2.58, one of the best marks in the American League.
"Everything was in the zone, working," Santiago said. "Good offspeed in fastball counts, good fastballs in offspeed counts. Good fastballs in, hit all my spots for the most part. I'm just making pitches over and over and over." More >
King comes out, runs come in: Hernandez had to leave early with a one-hit shutout going, and the Angels took advantage. In the seventh, Aybar flared a pinch-hit single to left field that tied the game at 1-1, and in the eighth, Calhoun broke the tie with a hard single of his own to right-center.
"He was out of gas," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "It was a very difficult day. It was extremely hot out there. The conditions were tough. Felix gave me everything he had. He was done."
Seager nearly saves it: The Mariners were down to their final out in the top of the ninth when Kyle Seager ripped his 12th homer of the year, a solo shot off Angels closer Huston Street to tie the game 2-2. Street, seeking his 22nd save of the season and 297th of his career, struck out Cano and got Cruz on a popup before Seager's big blow.
"He's been very good for us in those situations," McClendon said of Seager. "He came up big again, it's unfortunate we couldn't pull it off."
Cy Young vs. MVP: Hernandez vs. Trout is always a treat. And while Trout came into the game with a .364 average, three homers and 12 RBIs against King Felix in 55 at-bats, Hernandez won that battle Sunday with two strikeouts and a key double-play grounder in the sixth. The twin killing came after Hernandez walked Calhoun leading off and then had a 3-0 count on Trout. But Hernandez got a 5-4-3 double play to preserve a 1-0 lead. More >
"I thought I got as close as I could to squaring it up. Tom throws one of the harder changeups, so you have to be able to shift as quick as you can one way or the other. I thought I almost got it, but I must have been a little late trying to get my glove down." -- Zunino, on the wild pitch to end the game
"Today, I threw the ball great -- I threw the ball probably the best I've thrown the ball all month today. ... Yesterday's outing was a horrible outing. Terrible. God-awful. Today's outing was pretty darn good, just the results yesterday vs. the results of today. I walked off the mound yesterday a lot more frustrated than I was today." -- Street, who earned a save on Saturday and blew a save on Sunday
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• With the no-decision, Hernandez is 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 58 innings in his last nine starts against the Angels and hasn't lost a game in Anaheim since 2011.
Mariners: Mike Montgomery (2-2, 2.04 ERA) makes his sixth start in place of the injured James Paxton on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. PT in the opener of a two-game Interleague set at San Diego. The rookie southpaw has been outstanding and is coming off a five-hit shutout in which he struck out 10 Royals.
Angels: Left-hander C.J. Wilson (5-6, 3.92 ERA) will look to right the ship against the Yankees at 7:05 p.m. PT on Monday after allowing seven runs on eight hits in just 3 1/3 innings against the Astros in his last start, his shortest outing of the season.
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