ANAHEIM -- Rookie Edwin Diaz got credit for his eighth consecutive save on Wednesday, but the real save belonged to Kyle Seager after the Mariners third baseman made an outstanding play on a hard smash by Andrelton Simmons with the bases loaded to get the final out in Seattle's 4-3 win over the Angels.
"Phenomenal play," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "Kyle is as good as it gets and he gets in those grooves it's like the glove has Velcro in it. Everything is going in it. Not just the play, but to get to his feet and finish the play and get enough on the throw and a good pick by Dae-Ho [Lee].
"What an exciting finish. It's crazy, these games."
A night after the Angels rallied against Seattle's bullpen to snap an 11-game losing skid, the Mariners flipped the tables as five relievers combined for 4 2/3 innings of one-run ball. More >>
Cody Martin went 4 1/3 innings in his first start for Seattle while filling in for James Paxton, allowing seven hits and two runs.
Yunel Escobar had five hits for the Angels and his RBI single off Diaz cut the margin to one in the ninth. But the 22-year-old rookie struck out Jefry Marte then got Simmons, thanks to Seager's diving stop.
"The first step was to try to stop it and thankfully that happened," said Seager. 'Then it's absolutely just panic mode, trying to get rid of it as fast as you can and bounce it over there to Dae-Ho. He made a great pick on the other end, so it worked out as well as it could."
The Mariners have won 12 of their last 15 games to pull themselves back into playoff contention as they're two games back of the Orioles for the second American League Wild Card berth at 64-55. The Angels continue heading the opposite direction, having lost 12 of their last 13 in falling to 50-70.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bringing out the guns: Martin gave up a pair of runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter in the first two innings, but it could have been much worse if not for Seattle's defense. In the first inning, Seager took a throw from Leonys Martin on a sacrifice fly by Marte and fired to second to catch Albert Pujols trying to advance. Then Robinson Cano made a marvelous throw from deep behind second base to get the third out on a grounder up the middle by Simmons. Leonys Martin then gunned out Nick Buss trying to stretch a single leading off the second and catcher Chris Iannetta threw out Gregorio Petit trying to steal second for the final out of that frame. More >>
"It was a great game," said Leonys Martin. "It's not every single day you can give up 15 hits and find a way to win the ballgame, You have to find a way to win any way you can. We played great defense today and the pitchers did their job. It was pretty good."
Short, but not sweet: Tyler Skaggs struggled mightily after working a strong first inning. The first four Mariners in the second inning reached base, as they got even at 2. In the fourth, Skaggs was greeted by two hits before Ketel Marte's sacrifice fly for a 3-2 lead. Seattle added a strange run on Shawn O'Malley's bunt single, when first baseman Marte threw behind Leonys Martin at third, allowing him to score for a 4-2 lead.
"We got a lead, but Tyler couldn't make pitches to keep it," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Tyler had trouble repeating pitches. It's the big leagues, it's performance-based, and 82 pitches in 3 1/3 innings is not going to cut it."
New guys slam the door:Drew Storen, one of general manager Jerry Dipoto's midseason pickups, replaced Cody Martin with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and preserved a 4-2 lead by striking out Mike Trout on a slider and then getting Pujols on a drive to deep center. Storen has allowed just four hits and one run over 8 1/3 innings in his last eight outings for Seattle. Arquimedes Caminero, another recent trade acquisition, also struck Trout out with a 100-mph fastball to strand two more runners in the seventh.
"A lot of stuff was going on," Servais said. "Drew Storen coming in with bases loaded in the fifth and getting out of that inning. So many big outs we were able to get. Tonight the story is about the defense and the pitching."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Leonys Martin's two outfield assists in the first two innings for the Mariners tied a club record for center fielders. Seattle's club record for outfield assists in a game is three, set by current Angels third base coach Ron Roenicke on Aug. 13, 1983, while playing left field against the Angels in Anaheim. More >>
Escobar went 5-for-5, becoming the first Angel to have multiple five-hit games in a season since shortstop Gary DiSarcina did in 1998. DiSarcina is now the Angels' first-base coach.
"Yunel's had a couple of those," Scioscia said. "He hit some good pitches, and used the whole field."
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners:Hisashi Iwakuma (14-7, 3.84 ERA) closes out the series on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. PT with his third appearance of the year against the Halos. The 35-year-old right-hander is 8-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 16 games against the Angels, including two no-decisions this season.
Angels:Matt Shoemaker (6-13, 4.22 ERA) closes out the four-game series for the Angels on Thursday night at Angel Stadium. The right-hander has pitched better than his record indicates against most teams, with Seattle a notable exception. Shoemaker is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA in two starts against the Mariners this season .