Another desperate adjustment by the Los Angeles Angels seemingly wasn't enough to spark Josh Hamilton on Wednesday. Fortunately for them, a great pitching performance neutralized his latest disappointing game.
Now Hamilton takes on the pitcher he's faced more than any other, an ace against which he's badly struggled - just like his team did in one meeting this season after shelling him last year.
C.J. Wilson held Seattle (32-41) to two hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win for the Angels (32-40) Wednesday. The only run came on Joe Saunders ' first wild pitch of the season, allowing Mike Trout to score. Saunders' ninth career complete game was all for naught.
Hamilton, meanwhile, continues to struggle, so much so that manager Mike Scioscia slotted him seventh in his batting order Wednesday after he grounded into three double plays in Seattle's 3-2 win Tuesday. The slugger was 0 for 3 and struck out twice for the third consecutive game Wednesday, lowering his batting average to .210 as he hit seventh for the first time since 2009.
Hamilton's .657 OPS is a career low. He slugged .633 in his MVP season of 2010.
"We've got to figure out something," said Hamilton, hitting .152 in his last 13 home games. "Some players wear emotions on their sleeves and break things, but I'm not going to break my bat on the field because there's kids watching. If they don't think I care, they're mistaken because it hurts me more than it hurts anybody not to be performing."
Hamilton may not do much better Thursday as he's 8 for 51 (.157) with 16 strikeouts versus Hernandez and hitless in his last 10 at-bats against him.
Hernandez (8-4, 2.32 ERA) did have some troubles in five starts versus the Angels last year, collecting an 0-3 record and 6.25 ERA. However, he beat them on April 27 as he gave up two runs - one earned - and five hits in eight innings during a 3-2 win.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his last four starts and brings a 12-inning scoreless streak into Thursday after going seven in a 4-0 win at Oakland on Saturday.
Trout has hit .407 (11 for 27) against him and enters this matchup on a roll, going 9 for 20 with eight walks in his last six games.
Hernandez will be opposed by Tommy Hanson (4-2, 3.94), who has won his last two outings while allowing four runs in 11 1-3 innings. He struck out a season-high eight against the Yankees in a 6-2 win Saturday.
"This was the most confident I've felt all year. Obviously, I needed a little time to deal with what I was dealing with, but I feel like I'm getting back to a rhythm," said Hanson, who took nearly a month off in May as he dealt with the death of his stepbrother. "I'm back to a normal routine."
Hanson won his only previous start versus Seattle, going six innings and giving up three runs in a 5-4 victory while with Atlanta on June 28, 2011.
Michael Morse is 5 for 13 with two homers against Hanson.
|June 18, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Sore right quad|
|June 08, 2013||Kendrys Morales||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|June 06, 2013||Jesus Sucre||15-Day DL||Left wrist sprain|
|June 04, 2013||Jesus Sucre||Day-to-Day||Left game - left wrist injury|
|June 01, 2013||Jesus Montero||Day-to-Day||Torn left meniscus|
|May 30, 2013||Justin Smoak||15-Day DL||Right oblique strain|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|June 10, 2013||Robert Coello||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 02, 2013||Garrett Richards||Day-to-Day||Left game - Ankle injury|
|May 28, 2013||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|May 27, 2013||Sean Burnett||15-Day DL||Left elbow inflammation|
|May 26, 2013||Sean Burnett||Day-to-Day||Left game - Forearm tightness|
|May 21, 2013||Erick Aybar||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee soreness|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Staring at a seven-run deficit with Seattle's Felix Hernandez on the mound Thursday night, the Los Angeles Angels could have been excused for starting to think about the weekend.
Instead, the Angels chipped, scrapped, surged, charged - and eventually eked out a stunning victory.
Alberto Callaspo drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home the tiebreaking run with two outs in the eighth inning, and the Angels rallied from that huge early deficit for a 10-9 victory over the Mariners.
Mike Trout matched his season high with four hits for the Angels, who trailed 8-1 after four innings. Peter Bourjos homered and had three hits, and he scored the tying run in the eighth during Los Angeles' final rally for its sixth win in eight games.
Nearly everybody in the Angels' lineup contributed to their monumental comeback, the second-largest in club history. After three months of mostly discouraging play, Los Angeles is on a decent roll - but nobody expects a rally like this one.
"It's a great effort from our club," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You're very rarely going to get down that much to a pitcher of Felix's caliber and come back. Our guys just did a great job. You just couldn't piece it together any better than they did."
All of the good feelings in Los Angeles' clubhouse were matched by the gloom in Seattle, which dropped three of four in the series.
Kyle Seager matched his career high with four hits and drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth during a gut-wrenching loss for the Mariners, who couldn't protect a huge lead even with Hernandez on the mound.
"Tonight was exciting, just going back and forth the whole night," Trout said. "We got down seven (runs) early, and we just kept scratching out runs. We were just having fun. The excitement is there. We're all into the game."
Mark Trumbo hit a three-run homer while the Angels tied a single-game club record with seven consecutive hits during a five-run fifth inning. Albert Pujols had two hits and drove in the tying run on a broken-bat single in the sixth.
"I just blew the lead," said Hernandez, who yielded 12 hits and seven runs in five innings. "It's all my fault. Nobody else. Just me. There's no excuses. Actually, my fastball was fine, but I left the pitches up a little bit. They were being aggressive, and they scored some runs. There were a lot of broken-bat base hits, but it was my fault. But I'm not thinking about it."
Seager had a homer and two doubles during the first four-hit game by a Seattle player this season. Josh Hamilton couldn't catch his sinking liner to right in the eighth, and Brendan Ryan scored to put Seattle up 9-8.
But Bourjos singled, stole second, advanced on a throwing error and tied it on Erick Aybar 's RBI single off Carter Capps (2-2). Seattle walked Trumbo to load the bases with one out, and Ryan made a diving stop to force out Trout at the plate before Yoervis Medina walked Callaspo on four pitches.
"It's a tough game from an emotional standpoint," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "You take that big lead and do a lot of good things, and then you give it back. I was proud that we fought back and scored a run and took the lead back, but they fought right back, too. That's why you play for nine innings, man. The bullpen just didn't quite get it done. Obviously, we had to go to them early."
Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his 17th save. Scott Downs (1-2) gave up Seager's double, but also got one out in the eighth.
Tommy Hanson yielded six hits and seven runs during the second-shortest start of his career, getting chased by Seattle without getting an out in the third.
But Hernandez couldn't finish despite having a 3-0 lead before he took the mound and an 8-1 advantage in the third. Trout had three hits off King Felix, improving to 14 for 30 in his short career against Seattle's star right-hander.
"Every now and again, you see that he is human," Wedge said. "He was king of all over the place tonight."
The Angels trailed 8-2 when Bourjos led off the fifth with his third homer of the season. The speedy outfielder hadn't homered since April 15 after missing 38 games with a hamstring injury.
The next six Angels also got hits, with Pujols driving in a run before Trumbo cleared the bases with a homer off the fake rock pile in center field.
Danny Farquhar intentionally walked Trout in the sixth to get to Pujols, who poked a broken-bat single into center to score Bourjos with the tying run.
NOTES: Despite making a sharp running catch at the wall in the ninth inning, Hamilton had yet another miserable game, going 0 for 4 with an RBI in the $125 million slugger's second game in the No. 7 slot in manager Mike Scioscia 's order. He grounded into yet another double play in the seventh inning, and struck out with the bases loaded to end the eighth. ... The Angels set the club record with seven consecutive hits Aug. 31, 2002 against Baltimore. ... Angels RHP Dane De La Rosa had four strikeouts in two innings of one-hit relief.