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Saturday, May 08, 2010

West = Weaver = Win: Angels 8, Mariners 0

So, back to the AL West, and finally, a win to snap the long, doleful losing streak, while extending the M's skid to seven straight losses. Jered Weaver took a no-hitter into the seventh, but it hardly mattered, as the offense had long before chased Felix Hernandez back in the fourth. As David Pinto lately pointed out, Weaver is pitching the best ball of his career, with a 9.6 K/9 rate, and an excellent 1.045 WHIP. The offense got to Hernandez early, bashing him around for four runs in the first, with Kendry Morales slamming a bases-clearing double that ended with him at third on the throw, and Juan Rivera driving him home on a sac fly.

The Angels added to his misery in the fourth with three home runs, one each by Rivera, Howie Kendrick, and Ryan Budde, the first of Budde's short major league career. It was the second straight game in which Hernandez has failed to qualify for a quality start, and his third consecutive start resulting in a loss. Meantime, the only base runners the M's were able to muster were a couple walks, one to two-hole man Chone Figgins in the first, and another to left fielder Michael Saunders.

In case you were wondering, as I was, about Saunders' shiny .500 batting average, it's because he got a callup from AAA Tacoma earlier in the week following Milton Bradley being placed on the restricted list to deal with "emotional stress". You can imagine why: he's hitting .214/.313/.371 on the season, and he's gotta be saying to himself, oh, not again. (Apparently, Bradley yelled at an umpire earlier in the week.) It's part of a general problem for the Mariners, who are presently last in the league with 91 runs scored.

Shockingly, Scot Shields managed to finish the game without incident. I would be mighty cautious, given his recent history, to put him in front of a lineup that could actually hit, but it's still his third straight outing without allowing a run to score. That's something, anyway.

ESPN BoxAngels recap

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