ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Milton Bradley is back in the swing of things and the Seattle Mariners are pleased with the results - particularly the starting pitchers.
Bradley drove in three runs in support of Cliff Lee and the Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 on Friday night for their third straight win, equaling their longest streak of the season.
Ichiro Suzuki and former Angels speedster Chone Figgins, the table-setters at the top of Seattle's order, each scored two runs.
``I like to have him hit third with Ichiro and Figgins on base. That's a pretty good scenario,' Lee said of Bradley. ``Since he's been back, he's been the Milt that we all knew in Texas. He's obviously got the right kind of mindset right now and things are working well. I hope it continues. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't. He's a big part of our offense.'
Bradley, who spent two weeks on the restricted list while undergoing anger management counseling, has six RBIs in his last three games and is 9 for 30 in 14 since his return.
``For whatever reason, I'm throwing some hits out there,' Bradley said. ``The biggest thing is that mentally, I'm all in. I'm focused and feeling good. The way our lineup is, with Ichiro and Figgy on top and the way they're swinging it, there should be guys on base. So I should be able to drive some guys in.'
Lee (3-2) struck out 10 over eight innings in his 200th big league appearance. The 2008 Cy Young winner allowed three runs - two earned - and four hits with two walks.
``He's one of those guys who, when you look at the scoreboard and it says 91 or 92 miles an hour, you don't believe it because when it comes out of his hand, it's more like 95,' Figgins said. ``He gets so much good extension on his release, and that makes it look faster than what it is. He's a gamer.'
Teammate Ken Griffey Jr. believes the reason for Lee's success has been his competitiveness.
``He's going to come at you and he's going to leave it out there every fifth day,' Griffey said. ``He's a lot of fun to watch, but he's a pain if you've got to hit against him. He's pretty much a throwback to the veteran pitchers when I first started. He's got great command on both sides of the plate and he pitches inside effectively. He does everything well.'
The last time Lee was in the visiting clubhouse at Angel Stadium was on July 28. That day he was packing his gear after being traded from the Cleveland Indians to the eventual NL champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Mariners hope he doesn't repeat the process this year at the non-waiver trading deadline.
``Hopefully, we can put together a nice run so we can keep him all year,' Griffey said. ``I mean, we have no control if they want to get rid of him or not, but we can try to make it tough on everybody.'
Scott Kazmir (3-5) gave up six runs - five earned - and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. The two-time All-Star left-hander is 1-4 with a 6.91 ERA over his last five starts.
``I was painting outside to righties really well. My problem was inside to righties,' Kazmir said. ``I thought my slider and changeup were good, but when I get behind, I can't throw them the way I'd like. They definitely weren't biting on my off-speed stuff. They were locked down on the fastball. Once you get the fastball in for a strike, it opens up so much.'
In his first game at Angel Stadium since leaving Anaheim as a free agent during the offseason, Figgins was 1 for 3 with two walks.
Lee got off to an inauspicious start, giving up a pair of first-inning runs. One of them was unearned because of an error by the left-hander, who wasn't able to field Torii Hunter's comebacker cleanly and made a hurried throw past catcher Rob Johnson as he tried to get Howie Kendrick. Bobby Abreu, who went from first to third on the miscue, came home on a groundout by Kendry Morales.
``The first inning was a debacle, with the horrible play I made,' Lee said. ``With first and third with one out, I was originally going to try and turn two. But I knew Torii Hunter was running to first and he's pretty quick, and I think I tried to throw it before I caught it.
``Then I rushed the throw going home, so I basically screwed it up twice on the same play. But other than that, I was pretty happy with how things went.'
NOTES: Lee, who did not face the Angels last season, had complete-game victories in each of his previous two starts against them. ... Hideki Matsui was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against Lee, and has no RBIs in 20 career at_bats against Lee.
The Associated Press News Service
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