SEATTLE (AP) — Hector Santiago pitched eight innings of two-hit ball and Daniel Nava’s two-run, two-out single in the eighth inning gave the Los Angeles Angels the cushion they needed to beat the Seattle Mariners 3-0 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
The Angels were reeling when they arrived in Seattle, having lost six straight, but leave town rolling after sweeping the AL West leaders.
Santiago was dominant, outpitching Seattle ace Felix Hernandez. Santiago allowed just two hits overall, the first not coming until the sixth inning when Shawn O’Malley led off with a bunt single that Santiago mishandled on the transfer. Chris Iannetta had Seattle’s only other hit with a line drive single in the seventh.
Santiago (3-2) struck out five, allowed only one base runner to reach second base and matched a career high in innings pitched.
Joe Smith pitched the ninth for his fourth save of the season.
Even with Santiago’s dominance, the Angels didn’t have a cushion until Nava came through in the eighth inning. A walk to Kole Calhoun and base hit by Mike Trout ended Hernandez’s day. Reliever Nick Vincent got Albert Pujols to ground out for the second out, but Nava guided a hard grounder into left field to score the pair and give the Angels a three-run lead.
Calhoun also had an RBI single in the fifth inning behind Seattle’s defensive shift to score Johnny Giavotella after he led off with a double.
Santiago held Seattle hitless through five innings, helped by some nifty defensive plays by Gregorio Petit, Yunel Escobar and C.J. Cron to help take away potential hits. O’Malley led off the sixth with a bunt up the first base line that Santiago mishandled and was ruled a hit. Iannetta put an end to the debate about the ruling on the bunt hit with a solid single with two outs in the seventh inning, but that was it for offense against the left-hander.
Hernandez (3-3) was shaky early, dominant in the middle and managed his pitch count in the later innings. Hernandez had left runners in scoring position in the first two innings before starting on a dominant strikeout streak in the third inning. Hernandez recorded eight straight outs via strikeout, tied for the second-longest streak in franchise history. He struck out the side in the third sandwiched around a single by Trout, struck out the side in order in the fourth and set down Petit and Escobar in the fifth before Calhoun’s RBI single.
Hernandez finished with nine strikeouts but was responsible for all three runs.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson is expected to throw a simulated game on Monday at Dodger Stadium and could be headed for a rehab assignment in the minors if there are no setbacks.
Mariners: RHP Joaquin Benoit (shoulder) will go with Seattle on its road trip but there is no set date on when he will be activated from the DL. Benoit hasn’t pitched since April 22.
Angels: Matt Shoemaker (1-5) gets the start Monday night in the first game of the Freeway Series against the Dodgers.
Mariners: Seattle is off on Monday before opening a six-game road trip on Tuesday in Baltimore.