Haren sharp, Napoli strong as Angels complete sweep of Mariners with 3-0 victory
Dan Haren allowed only three singles in seven shutout innings, striking out six and walking three, and Mike Napoli hit his team-leading 24th home run of the season to lead the Angels to a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
The Angels extended their win streak to four, their longest since a six-game win streak against Kansas City and Seattle from June 2-7, but they remained 10 games behind Texas in the American League West, because the Rangers extended their win streak to five with Sunday's 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees.
Haren (pictured at right) improved to 3-4 and lowered his earned-run average to 3.04 in 10 starts with the Angels since the right-hander was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 25.
The Mariners' only real threat against him came in the fourth, when they put runners on second and third with no outs, but Haren struck out Casey Kotchman, got Jose Lopez on a ground ball back to the mound, walked Ryan Langerhans to load the bases and retired Josh Bard on a fly ball to center field.
Jordan Walden pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth, striking out Franklin Gutierrez with a 95-mph fastball and getting Kotchman to ground out to second. Fernando Rodney, who blew saves Wednesday and Friday, walked the first batter in the ninth but retired the next three for his second save in as many games.
The Angels scored in the first inning when, with the bases loaded, Bard, the Mariners catcher, was cited for catcher's interference, his glove contacting Hideki Matsui's bat as the designated hitter fouled off a 1-and-2 pitch.
Napoli doubled with one out in the sixth and scored on Juan Rivera's bloop double to shallow left-center, Napoli making a great read when he broke for third well before the ball dropped just out of the reach of shortstop Josh Wilson.
With one out in the eighth, Napoli crushed a pitch from reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith over the wall in left-center for a home run and a 3-0 lead.
-- Mike DiGiovanna
Photo credit: Denis Poroy / Associated Press