ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) After watching Kazuhiro Sasaki surrender
a two-run, game-ending homer the night before, Seattle manager Lou
Piniella decided his closer could use some help before coming on in
the ninth inning Saturday.
Piniella stuck with Jeff Nelson for an extra batter, and Nelson
struck out defending AL home run champ Troy Glaus. Arthur Rhodes
retired Anderson on an opposite-field fly to left, and Sasaki got
Jorge Fabregas on a fly to left to preserve the Mariners' 2-1
victory and earn his sixth save.
"We had the right combination," Piniella said. "I had Nelson
in the ballgame already and had Rhodes warmed up. So we decided to
go that way tonight and it worked. We won a ballgame and
everybody's happy. That's my version of the Intercontinental Nasty
Seattle reliever Norm Charlton, one of Piniella's original
"Nasty Boys" in Cincinnati a decade ago, was glad Sasaki had a
chance to redeem himself so quickly following the Japanese
right-hander's first blown save of the season.
"I'm sure nobody wanted the ball tonight more than he did,"
Charlton said. "He appears to have confidence in his ability, he's
got great stuff and he works really hard.
"He hasn't been over here that long, but he's been doing this
in Japan for years and years and years. He was the most successful
guy over there, and there's a reason for it."
Freddy Garcia (1-0) pitched five hitless innings and the
Mariners got RBI singles from David Bell and Ichiro Suzuki to
improve the best start in club history to 8-3.
Garcia threw 126 pitches over 7 2/3 innings, allowing two hits
and the one run. The right-hander limited the Angels to a one-out
single in the sixth by Orlando Palmeiro and a two-out triple in the
seventh by Adam Kennedy, who was stranded when rookie David
Eckstein struck out.
Garcia, who surrendered seven earned runs over 9 1-3 innings in
his other two starts, also hit a batter and issued two of his three
walks in the sixth. A walk to Tim Salmon loaded the bases for
Glaus, who drove in Eckstein with a sacrifice fly.
"Freddy had a really good fastball, and an excellent changeup
and curveball," Piniella said. "But he reached his pitch count,
so we didn't want him going any further. It was a nice cool night
to pitch, and it was a really good effort from Freddy. And he
needed it, because their pitching was excellent, too."
Angels starter Ismael Valdes (0-1) made a belated American
League debut after spending two weeks on the disabled list with a
cracked nail on his middle finger. Despite facing a lineup that had
five hitters with lifetime averages of .300 or better against him
when he was in the NL, Valdes was locked in a hitless duel with
Garcia through four innings.
"I had good control and command of my pitches," Valdes said.
"I'm not surprised how strong I was because I was working hard
during the winter and I know I can do this. Tonight was a sign that
my confidence is still there."
The right-hander worked six innings, giving two runs and four
hits. He struck out five and walked three.
"He spotted his stuff, threw a lot of off-speed pitches, and it
seemed like he was ahead in the count all night," Seattle's Bret
Boone said. "Consequently, we just kind of chipped away and got a
couple of runs. But we didn't exactly light it up against him."
|Mariners pitcher Freddy Garcia gave up only two hits in 7 2/3 innings of work.|
Valdes is the latest in a string of former Dodgers pitchers
the Angels have picked up over the last 20 years, including
Fernando Valenzuela, Don Sutton, Tommy John, Jerry Reuss, Tim
Belcher, Terry Forster and Geoff Zahn. ... The only Seattle
pitchers to throw no-hitters were Chris Bosio and Randy Johnson.
Garcia came to the Mariners in a multiplayer deal that sent Johnson
to the Houston Astros on July 31, 1998. ... Valdes faced the
Mariners twice during interleague play while with the Dodgers. He
beat Garcia 5-0 two seasons ago, allowing seven hits in seven
innings with no walks. ... Al Levine relieved Valdes and retired
all six batters he faced, five of them on strikeouts. ... Bell was
0-for-11 lifetime against Valdes before his RBI single. ...
Palmeiro made his second start in right field while a slumping
Salmon served as the DH. ... Al Martin was 0-for-4, and has only
one hit in 19 at-bats this season.
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NY Yankees 3
Kansas City 4
Tampa Bay 5
Chi. White Sox 4
NY Mets 0
St. Louis 4
Chicago Cubs 7
San Francisco 6
San Diego 5
Los Angeles 4