ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -
didn't hold anything back in his return to the lineup after missing five games with lower back spasms.
Branyan homered in the second inning, then beat the throw back to the plate from
's wild pitch during a six-run fifth that carried the
to an 8-3 victory over the
Los Angeles Angels
on Friday night.
''That that was the last thing to come - running at full speed,'' Branyan said. ''I don't know why. You'd think that swinging
the bat puts more stress on your back than running. But I went out early today and ran at probably at 50-60 percent. When
I was running the bases, I didn't even think about and felt fine all night. When I took off for the plate, I didn't even think
about my back.''
Branyan also hit an RBI double in the sixth for Seattle's final run. He went 2-for-3 with two walks and scored twice.
''I was ready to go yesterday, but Skip just wanted to give me one more day just to be sure,'' Branyan said. ''I had some
jitters tonight. The only thing I was focused on was just making sure I had good rhythm, making sure that my timing was on
and that I wasn't late behind the ball. When I get a little bit late, that's when I rush myself and I put a little more stress
on my back. Right now, I think I'm out of the woods.''
(2-1) allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits in 6 2-3 innings for Seattle. The left-hander's ERA after four starts
''We got beat by a good pitcher tonight,''
said. ''We've been hitting pretty well - until we faced Bedard. His curveball was A-1. He had that curveball really working
(0-2) failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced in the fifth and was pulled after 84 pitches with the Angels trailing
hit a two-run double,
drove in another run with a chopper off the plate that third baseman
had no play on, and
followed with a bloop RBI single.
Thompson came in to face
and bounced a pitch past Napoli, whose return throw to the plate would have been in time to retire the sliding Branyan had
Thompson simply turned his head to his right - instead of holding the ball and staring back at Napoli.
''He was telling us his closing speed to home plate tonight was ... you can't measure that on any field. He was talking about
that for 5-10 minutes,'' teammate Ken Griffey Jr. said with a grin.
capped the rally with a sacrifice fly for a 7-0 lead.
''We've been fortunate enough to play some decent baseball, and hopefully we'll continue it,'' Griffey said. ''We've had some
great outings by our starting pitchers, so that helps.''
After getting 39 baserunners into scoring position and totaling 24 runs in their three-game series against Detroit, the Angels
got only one runner as far as second base against Bedard over the first four innings. But they pushed across three runs in
Napoli drove an 0-2 pitch into the top tier of the double-decker bullpen in left field for his third homer, the first off
Bedard in four starts this season.
singled and came all the way home on a single by
, as the throw to third from left fielder
bounced past Beltre and into the stands.
Loux, making his third start of the campaign, was charged with seven runs, 11 hits and three walks.
will make his major league debut Saturday night, becoming the eighth pitcher to start for the Angels already this season -
one more than all of last year. Thompson was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake to make room on the roster. ... Napoli's homer
was the first allowed by a Mariners pitcher since April 15, when Hunter hit a two-run shot off LHP
. Seattle's streak of seven consecutive games without a home run allowed was two shy of the franchise record, set during the
strike season of 1981. ... The Mariners have won the opener in each of their first six series.