SEATTLE (AP) - The Los Angeles Angels are not going to get any help from the young Seattle Mariners in their pursuit of the firs-place Rangers.
The last-place, nothing-to-lose Mariners, with a roster bulging with eager-to-prove rookies, played what manager Eric Wedge called ``our best game' Monday night in a 5-3 victory over the Angels.
The loss dropped the Angels 3 1/2 games behind idle Texas in the AL West with 28 games to go.
Mike Carp connected on a first-pitch slider from Hisanori Takahashi (3-3) in the eighth inning for a long two-run home run, providing the Mariners with the deciding margin.
Rookie Dustin Ackley, who had three hits and a pair of RBIs, opened the eighth with a double. Carp then hit the pitch into a fan's lap in the second-deck restaurant in left field.
``After he hit it I just stopped. I'm just going to watch this ball and see where it ends up,' Ackley said. ``Even in BP you don't see many balls land up that high, especially a first-pitch breaking ball like that. That's pretty impressive.'
The ball was estimated to have traveled 432 feet.
Takahashi said his pitch to Carp was in the wrong zone.
``I wanted it down and away,' Takahashi said through an interpreter, ``but it was on the opposite side.'
Rookie Tom Wilhelmsen (2-0) earned the victory with one inning of relief. Brandon League finished the ninth for his 32nd save in 37 opportunities.
First baseman Mark Trumbo hit his team-leading 24th home run, a two-run shot in the fourth.
Ichiro Suzuki had two doubles and extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games.
Suzuki has had 40 career double-digit hitting streaks, tied with Pete Rose for the fifth most since 1918. The others in front of him are Ty Cobb (65), Hank Aaron (44), Al Simmons (42) and Stan Musial (41).
``It's one of those nights he (Takahashi) just didn't get one pitch where he wanted and that was it,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Scioscia was asked before the game whether Seattle, at 57-76, is still a dangerous team to play. He said Seattle ``has a lot of talent. A lot of it is young but it's good, good young arms ... (but) I want our guys to play free, to play easy and that's what we're going to focus on.'
The Mariners took the early lead with a pair of sacrifice flies, but the Angels charged ahead with a three-run fourth.
Torii Hunter singled just before Trumbo launched his ball off the left-field upper-deck facade, on a 1-0 pitch from rookie Blake Beavan. The Angels have had at least one home run in 19 of their last 20 games.
The Angels added another in the inning. Vernon Wells singled to center followed by Erick Aybar's RBI double into deep right-center.
The Mariners tied it in the fifth, also with two outs. Suzuki doubled into the gap in left. Ackley drove a run-scoring triple into the gap in right for a 3-3 score.
``That was a big pitch,' Joel Pineiro said of his pitch to Ackley. ``I was not going to give him something to hit but the ball stayed up in the zone, a sinker that stayed up and he made me pay for it.'
Scioscia said Pineiro, who hasn't won since he beat the Mariners July 9, will continue to get the ball.
``He'd get another start. He gave us a chance to win,' he said. ``He's not locked in where he was earlier in the season but he first came off the DL but he has made strides from when he was taken out of the rotation.
``Hopefully, he will continue because we are going to need him,' Scioscia added. ``We need depth in the rotation.'
The Mariners played exceptional defense to stymie potential rallies.
Shortstop Brendan Ryan made a barehanded grab of Peter Bourjos' spinning groundball to finish the Angels' threat in the fourth.
Casper Wells threw a hard, accurate strike on the fly to second base in the third inning to nail Bourjos trying to stretch a single.
Then in the seventh Wells did it again. The Angels had something going with speedy Aybar on first and one out. As Aybar broke for second, Bourjos hit a line shot to left. Wells raced in, caught on the run and quickly fired to first to double up Aybar.
``That's my favorite thing to do,' said Wells, in his first season, ``come up throwing.'
Notes: The Angels have lost three of their last four after winning six straight. ... Trumbo leads the team in home runs (24) and RBI (71). No Angels rookie has ever led the team in both categories in a season.
The Associated Press News Service
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