SEATTLE (AP) — If the Los Angeles Angels are going to turn around their stumbling start, Mike Scioscia needs better, longer outings from his starting pitchers.
Joe Blanton managed to make it into the seventh inning on Saturday night and it wasn't enough for the Angels.
"I think at some point these starters have to get deeper if we're going to get rolling the way we need to," Scioscia said.
Kendrys Morales snapped a 2-all tie with a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning, Felix Hernandez allowed just one earned run and five hits over eight innings, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Angels 3-2 on Saturday night.
The Mariners were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position and suffering through another miserable night without clutch hitting before Morales' line-drive single off reliever Michael Roth that scored Kyle Seager with the go-ahead run.
Jesus Montero hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning for Seattle to pull the Mariners even.
That was all Hernandez (3-2) needed. He stumbled only in the third inning when Chris Iannetta led off with a homer and the Angels added an unearned run. Hernandez won at home for the first time this season.
The Mariners' ace continued a dominant run over his past three starts. He's allowed just two earned runs in 22 innings and struck out 28 over the three outings. Luis Jimenez put a scare into Hernandez leading off the eighth, lining a 2-2 pitch home run distance down the left-field line but about 5 feet foul. Hernandez came back to strike out Jimenez, get Peter Bourjos on a ground out and fly out from Mike Trout.
After helping cut down Mark Trumbo on an attempted squeeze play at home plate in the fourth inning, Hernandez retired the final 14 he faced. He walked one and struck out seven.
"It's tough to have a rock solid plan with him out there," Trumbo said. "Today he seemed to be favoring more of a cutter."
Hernandez was at just 95 pitches after eight innings, but Seattle manager Eric Wedge decided to go with closer Tom Wilhelmsen for the ninth. Josh Hamilton singled with one-out, but Wilhelmsen struck out Trumbo and got Howie Kendrick to line out for his seventh save.
"I felt a little tired today. ... I said, 'I'm good with that. Give it to (Wilhelmsen).' He's the closer," Hernandez said. "It's early in the season. I feel good about it."
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