SEATTLE(AP) Sitting in the dugout before Thursday's game,
Los Angeles Angels
was asked if his team's power hitting - second worst in the American League in homers entering the day - was a major concern.
''You can't just look at slugging percentage,'' Scioscia said. ''There's a lot that goes into the offense.''
Then the Angels went out and scored all their runs via the long ball, thanks to a trio of homers by
, Gary Matthews Jr. and
that accounted for the Angels' first three hits in a 3-0 win over the
''We talked about slugging percentage before the game and those guys took it to heart,'' Scioscia joked afterward.
The Angels could laugh about their barrage of solo shots - about a 1,000 feet worth of hits - thanks largely to the pitching
, who made sure the lead would stand up against Seattle's anemic offense. Saunders tossed seven innings of four-hit ball as
his offense did just enough to take three of four from the Mariners.
Rivera welcomed back Seattle starter
- scratched from his last start with a bad hamstring - by hooking a 3-1 pitch just inside the left-field pole with two outs
in the first. Two innings later, Matthews went deep for the first time since Sept. 23, also against Seattle, with a line drive
into the Angels' bullpen in left.
Kendrick capped the night with a drive into the glove of an Angels fan in the second deck of left field off reliever
with two outs in the eighth.
The three homers were the only hits for the Angels until
followed up Kendrick's homer with consecutive singles. Despite the lack of hits, Saunders made sure it was enough against
Seattle's anemic offense that was shut out for the fourth time this season.
''He did a great job of making adjustments tonight, getting some outs,'' Scioscia said. ''I don't think he had his best stuff
but he definitely made some pitches when he had to and got out of some jams.''
Only once did the Mariners get a baserunner to third against the Angels' ace. And even then, Seattle flubbed its opportunity.
With runners on first and third and two outs,
got into a rundown between first and second. On third,
broke toward the plate but slowed when Kendrick looked toward home. Eventually Lopez ended up in a rundown and was tagged
out by Figgins to end the inning.
''That was my call,'' Seattle manager
said of Suzuki getting picked off by Saunders. ''I have him a steal in a situation (where) I didn't think they would throw
over there a second time.''
About the only redeeming fact for Seattle's offense was slumping third baseman
snapping an 0-for-23 skid with a single leading off the sixth.
Saunders (6-2) struck out three and walked three, improving to 6-1 all-time against the Mariners and bouncing back from his
last start in Texas when Saunders was rattled for seven runs and eight hits by the Rangers.
''It was my fault what I gave up in Texas,'' Saunders said. ''Tonight with Bedard out there, with the way he throws against
us, I knew that I needed to throw up some zeros early and often.''
pitched the eighth and
worked the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.
Bedard (2-2) was held out of his scheduled start last weekend against the
because of tightness in his hamstring. And aside from the two homers Bedard kept the Angels offense in check. He just needed
a lot of pitches to scrape through five innings.
Making his first start in 11 days and limited to less than 100 pitches, Bedard finished the fifth at 95, giving way to Seattle's
bullpen. Bedard struck out six and walked only two.
''You always make mistakes. They don't get all of them all the time,'' Bedard said. ''They just got those two.''
Notes: Suzuki extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single on the second pitch of the game from Saunders. ... Former
will get the start Friday night for the
San Francisco Giants
as they open an interleague series against Seattle. Johnson will be going for his 299th career victory. Johnson went 130-74