ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Michael Pineda took full advantage of some perfectly placed shadows between the mound and home plate.
He struck out his first five batters on 19 pitches. But once the Los Angeles Angels' hitters were able to pick up the rotation on the ball, it was no contest.
The Angels jumped on Pineda for four runs in the third inning and beat the Seattle Mariners 9-3 Saturday night. The rookie right-hander gave up a season-worst seven runs and six hits over five innings, equaling his shortest outing in 18 starts.
Torii Hunter drove in a season-high five runs with a pair of homers and Mark Trumbo also went deep for the Angels, who have hit 15 homers in 12 games during this homestand, after getting just 14 in their first 35 games at the Big A this season.
``Michael came out there at the beginning and was fantastic,' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. ``Then that inning got away from us. I think he was a little bit out of synch tonight coming out of the stretch and Hunter got him a couple of times. But he's capable of doing that.'
Wedge was ejected during the Angels' third. Trumbo led off with a single and took off for second as Hank Conger checked his swing on ball four. Trumbo originally was called out at second by umpire Greg Gibson after the throw down by Miguel Olivo, but that was wiped out by the walk to Conger - denying the Mariners a critical strikeout-double play and giving the Angels runners at first and second instead.
``It changed the course of the entire ballgame,' Wedge said. ``I mean, two outs and nobody on to first and second with nobody out - and then they score four runs. It's a damn shame.'
Wedge was tossed after venting his anger from the dugout at third base ump Sam Holbrook, who ruled on appeal that Conger held up in time on the swing. Then he came out of the dugout and got his money's worth.
``It's getting to a point with these umpires that you can't even look at them without them throwing you out,' Wedge said. ``I mean, God forbid you question something or make any type of gesture to show you're unhappy with it. Those guys are so damn sensitive, it's just unbelievable.
``Unless he just wasn't paying attention, there's no reason he should miss that,' Wedge added. ``It's ridiculous. It was obvious to everybody in the ballpark, except for him. It was just a bad call. When you have something like that that changed the course of the entire ballgame, that's a helluva difference.'
No. 9 hitter Mike Trout, playing in his second major league game, followed the controversial call with a bunt single for his first major league hit. The throw to first by Pineda (8-6) got past first baseman Adam Kennedy, allowing Trumbo to score the game's first run. One out later, Hunter homered to left-center on the first pitch to make it 4-0.
``They're playing really good over there. And when their offense gets going, they're tough on anybody,' said Kennedy, who was the second baseman on the Angels' 2002 World Series championship team. ``Michael Pineda's been great for us, but it's tough when these guys have little margin for error. We're just not picking them up on a nightly basis.'
Former Mariners right-hander Joel Pineiro (5-3) allowed three runs and 10 hits over seven innings to help lead the Angels to their 13th victory in 16 games. The right-hander is 3-0 in his last five starts, after going 0-3 in his previous four.
``I made my pitches when I needed to and got out of jams,' Pineiro said. ``I thought I mixed up my pitches a little bit more. I threw more sliders, curveballs and changeups than I usually have. And when you keep the ball down, you'll have the results.'
The Mariners, who have lost 15 of their last 17 at Angel Stadium, closed to 4-3 with a run-scoring double by Olivo in the fourth inning and two-out RBI singles in the fifth by Dustin Ackley and Olivo. But the Angels responded in their half of the fifth with an RBI double by Maicer Izturis and Hunter's 11th homer of the season, an opposite-field two-run shot that just cleared the short fence in the right-field corner and extended the margin to 7-3.
``In the last couple of weeks, I think I've found something in my swing and I'm just sticking with it,' Hunter said. ``I have some good days and I have some bad days, as far as results, but I still feel good at the plate.'
Trumbo, who hit his first career walkoff homer Friday night, completed the scoring in the eighth against Chris Ray with his 16th of the season - tying Washington's Danny Espinosa for the most among rookies.
Notes: Ichiro Suzuki's fifth-inning single gave him 100 hits before the All-Star break for the 10th straight season since coming over from Japan. It's the second-longest such streak in the majors since 1954. Pete Rose did it 12 straight years between 1968-79. ... If Hunter does not make an error on Sunday, it would mark the fourth time in his career that the nine-time Gold Glove OF has played errorless ball going into the All-Star break. ... Angels 2B Howie Kendrick singled in the seventh, extending his career-best hitting streak to 18 games.
The Associated Press News Service
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