The star slugger looks to hit safely in a career-best 12th straight road game as the Angels try to win consecutive games for the first time in two weeks Saturday night against the Seattle Mariners .
"It was huge because you know he is not going to give up a lot," said Nelson, who had gone hitless in 17 at-bats prior to his second-inning homer.
Wedge, who suffered a mild stroke before a game July 22, said he intends on managing the rest of the season without restrictions."It's a shot across the bow, it's a mulligan, it's a heads up," Wedge said. "And I'm taking it as such."
Although he's batting a career-low .231 in the first of a five-year deal with the Angels, Hamilton went 2 for 4 with his 25th double as Los Angeles (56-71) snapped a five-game skid at Safeco Field. He's hitting .333 with three home runs and nine RBIs in his last 14 contests, raising his average 14 points.
Hamilton, whose lone hit in three at-bats against Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (4-0, 5.94 ERA) was a home run, is batting .409 with two home runs, five doubles and 14 RBIs during his 11-game road hitting streak. He hasn't hit safely in that many consecutive road contests since an 11-game run with Texas from June 11-30, 2010.
Ramirez has gone 4-0 with a 4.80 ERA while receiving 4.6 runs per game over his last five starts - all Mariners victories. He recorded his first quality start Sunday at Texas, allowing two runs - one earned - and four hits over seven innings as Seattle eventually won 4-3.
The right-hander wasn't as sharp in his only career start against the Angels, getting tagged for five runs - three earned - and seven hits over six innings in a 5-4 loss in Anaheim on Sept. 25.
All-Star Mike Trout went 2 for 3 against Ramirez in that contest, but was 0 for 4 on Friday after missing three games due to tightness in his right hamstring. He's hitting .474 in his last 10 games against the Mariners.
Los Angeles looks to win for the fourth time in 13 games by giving the ball to left-hander Jason Vargas (6-5, 3.92), who has allowed seven runs and 15 hits in two starts after missing nearly two months following blood clot surgery in June.
The former Mariner, however, has pitched well against his old club, fanning 16 while going 1-1 with a 2.40 ERA in two meetings this season.
He's held Kendrys Morales and Kyle Seager hitless in a combined 14 at-bats this season. Both players are also slumping heading into this contest, with Morales batting .163 over his last 13 games and Seager hitting .134 in his last 18.
|Los Angeles Angels|
|August 19, 2013||Mike Trout||Day-to-Day||Tight right hamstring|
|August 13, 2013||Erick Aybar||Day-to-Day||Left calf cramp|
|August 06, 2013||Howie Kendrick||15-Day DL||Sprained left knee|
|August 05, 2013||Howie Kendrick||Day-to-Day||Hyperextended left knee|
|July 27, 2013||Albert Pujols||15-Day DL||Plantar fasciitis|
|July 27, 2013||Albert Pujols||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis|
|July 26, 2013||Mike Zunino||15-Day DL||Fractured left hamate bone|
|July 11, 2013||Nick Franklin||Day-to-Day||Left game - knee soreness|
|July 11, 2013||Endy Chavez||Day-to-Day||Left game - groin tightness|
|June 29, 2013||Dustin Ackley||Day-to-Day||Left game - thumb|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 24, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Right hamstring strain|
SEATTLE (AP) -- In his third start since returning from the disabled list, Jason Vargas felt right at home back on the Safeco Field mound.
Vargas (7-5), who spent his past four seasons in Seattle, allowed one run in 6 1-3 innings and struck out five to earn the victory and the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Mariners 5-1 on Saturday night.
It was Vargas' first win since picking up the decision in an 11-3 victory over the Mariners on June 17.
"He had to pitch out of some jams, but when he had to, he got a couple double play balls," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I thought Jason did a great job. It was great to see him get into the seventh and get to 100 pitches. He maintained his stuff. He pitched and I think that's when he's at his best."
The Mariners had multiple runners on base in the second and fourth innings, but came up empty each time as Vargas worked out of trouble.
In the fourth, Vargas walked Justin Smoak and Endy Chavez singled to put runners on the corners with no outs, but the Mariners left both runners stranded.
"We spread out some hits here and there, but we never really put anything together," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "You got to put more heat on them offensively. We didn't put a whole lot of pressure on them tonight. We got to make it more difficult for them than we did tonight."
Vargas said he didn't feel much different from his first two starts since returning from the DL, but this time he managed to get the result.
"I was just able to make pitches when the time came," Vargas said.
The Angels jumped on top early against Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (4-1). After a walk to Erick Aybar , Mike Trout hit his 22nd home run to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
Chavez limited the early damage by robbing a would-be home run from Hank Conger in the second inning.
Ramirez and Vargas traded scoreless innings until Los Angeles managed to extend the lead in the seventh.
Grant Green singled and J.B. Shuck doubled to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Ramirez nearly worked out of the jam as Green was thrown out at the plate on a grounder to second, but Chavez dropped a fly ball that would have ended the inning and allowed Shuck to score to increase the lead to 3-0.
Humberto Quintero and Dustin Ackley led off the seventh inning with a pair of singles and Nick Franklin came to the plate to pinch-hit for Brendan Ryan .
With a 1-1 count, Franklin tried to call time, but it wasn't granted by plate umpire Ron Kulpa. Vargas appeared to hear Franklin's request while checking the runner at second base in his windup and stopped his motion. Kulpa called a balk and allowed both Quintero and Ackley to advance a base.
"When I heard it loud like that I just assumed it was the umpire but it wasn't," Vargas said. "That's all on me. I can't take that for granted."
Franklin grounded out to third to score Quintero and put the Mariners on the board for the first time in two nights and chase Vargas from the game.
Michael Kohn managed to work out of the jam. Despite hitting Kyle Seager with a pitch, Kohn struck out Brad Miller and Kendrys Morales to hold the Mariners at bay.
The Angels added two more runs off reliever Brandon Maurer in the eighth inning. After a single from Mark Trumbo , Kole Calhoun tripled to left-center field to score a run. Chris Nelson followed with an RBI single to drive home Calhoun and extend the Angels lead to 5-1.
Notes: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said RHP Garrett Richards anticipates making his next start after taking a liner off his right forearm in Friday night's win over Seattle. ... RHP Kevin Jepsen was placed on the 15-day disabled list after having emergency surgery Saturday in Seattle to remove his appendix. OF Collin Cowgill was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City. ... Mariners INF Nick Franklin pinch hit in the seventh inning and remained in the game at second base for the conclusion of the game. It was his first game action since suffering a gash in his knee during a game in Oakland Tuesday night that required stitches. ... C Mike Zunino took batting practice with the Mariners and the team plans to send him on a rehab assignment next week. Zunino has been on the disabled list since July 26 after suffering a broken bone in his left wrist.