Angels amass 18 hits in series-sweeping 9-4 win over Mariners
Mike Napoli had four hits, including a tie-breaking, two-run home run in the seventh inning, on Sunday to lead the Angels to a 9-4 victory and three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Robb Quinlan and Erick Aybar each added three hits and a run batted in, part of a season-high 18-hit attack, and relievers Kevin Jepsen, Fernando Rodney and Francisco Rodriguez each threw scoreless innings for the Angels, who have won eight of nine games.
The Mariners had pulled even, 4-4, in the bottom of the sixth when Michael Saunders drew a two-out walk from Angels starter Joel Pineiro and scored on Ichiro Suzuki's double to left-center field.
Seattle bench coach Ty Van Burkleo, managing in place of the ejected Don Wakamatsu, summoned reliever Shawn Kelley, who walked four during the Angels' six-run sixth inning Saturday, for the seventh inning.
The right-hander found the plate ... too much of it. Hideki Matsui singled with one out, and Napoli, who had already singled twice in the game, drove a 2-and-2 pitch over the wall in right field for his ninth homer of the season and a 6-4 lead. Juan Rivera struck out, but Kevin Frandsen singled and took third on Quinlan's double off the left-field wall.
Out went Kelley and in came left-hander Garrett Olson, who walked Aybar to load the bases. But center fielder Franklin Gutierrez raced in and made a diving catch of Howie Kendrick's line drive to end the inning.
The Angels added three insurance runs off Mariners closer David Aardsma in the ninth when Napoli singled and scored on Rivera's double to right-center, Rivera scored on Aybar's single to right, and Aybar scored on Kendrick's triple to right-center for a 9-4 lead.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first on Aybar's leadoff double and Torii Hunter's two-out, RBI double, but Seattle countered with three runs in the bottom of the first, on Jose Lopez's RBI single, Milton Bradley's RBI double and Josh Wilson's RBI triple.
Pineiro held the Mariners scoreless over the next four innings, working out of a runner-on-third, one-out jam in the fifth. The Angels came back to tie the score on Napoli's single and Quinlan's two-out, RBI double (his first hit of the season) in the fourth and Matsui's towering solo home run, his ninth of the season, to right field in the fifth.
The Angels took a 4-3 lead in the sixth when Quinlan singled with one out, took third on Aybar's bloop single and scored when Lopez's high throw after fielding Kendrick's grounder pulled first baseman Casey Kotchman off the bag for an error.
-- Mike DiGiovanna , reporting from Seattle
Photo: Angels slugger Hideki Matsui fouls off a pitch during Sunday's victory over Seattle. Credit: Dan Levine / EPA