BY SPNW Staff 12:54AM 07/19/2014

Angels’ pinch-hitter singles to top Mariners in 16

The Mariners lost their longest game of the year, a 16-inning ordeal in Anaheim decided by Angels pinch-hitter Efren Navarro, a 50th-round draft choice from 2007, who singled home Mike Trout for a 3-2 triumph that took five hours, 14 minutes into Saturday morning.

Dominic Leone took over from Tom Wilhelmsen, who pitched four shutout innings and gave up only one hit, and surrendered a one-out double to Trout. Manager Lloyd McClendon chose to pitch to Albert Pujols instead of walking him intentionally, and the move paid off temporarily when the Angels slugger, with 20 home runs, sent a one-hop comebacker to Leone for the second out.

But McClendon chose to walk Josh Hamilton, who was 0-for-6 with three strikeouts, and Navarro came up to pinch hit. Navarro has 55 at-bats over three major league seasons, but No. 56 was a biggie, his single skipping over the mound into center field to score Trout easily.

The Angels used nine pitchers, including all eight relievers, making a winner out of the last one, Hector Santiago, for the second time this season. During the game the Angels announced a six-player trade with the Padres that brought them closer Huston Street, and he nearly had time to to make the game.

The Angels won for the 25th time in their past 30 games at home, where they are a baseball-best 33-15.

The Angels scored twice in the fifth off starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who otherwise pitched brilliantly over seven innings. Howie Kendrick, who singled, scored on a double by David Freese. The relay throw to the plate from Robinson Cano beat Kendrick, but his slide knocked the ball from catcher Mike Zunino’s glove.

Freese went to third on the error. He stayed there as James Jones made a diving catch in shallow center, then scored on Hank Conger’s single.

The Mariners, who loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, only to see Justin Smoak strike out looking, tied it at 2 in the seventh. Dustin Ackley led off with a double and scored on a single by Brad Miller to chase starter Jared Weaver, who went six-plus innings and gave up six hits and two walks.

Miller took off on a hit-and-run play and reached second on a groundout by Zunino. Endy Chavez’s bloop single to center scored Zunino with the the tying run.

The Mariners had 15 hits, including four from Cano and two each from Chavez, Smoak, Miller, Ackley and James Jones, but delivery was poor.  They left 14 on base. The Angels, who led the American League in runs, were nearly as ineffective with 12 hits and nine left on.

Mike Zunino and All-Star Kyle Seager went 0-for-7 and Logan Morrison 0-for-5.

The bullpen had a shutout for 9.2 innings until Navarro stepped to the plate.


YourThoughts

  • Kirkland

    This M’s team is eeringly similar to the US soccer team: fantastic pitchers/goalie; think-outside-the-box managers; one or two offensive superstars; dogged perseverance; and thanks to injuries and/or talent nosedives, weak supporting casts.

    They’ve both come a long way … and yet they still have a long way to go.