The Mariners rotation has the second-lowest earned run average in the American League (3.49) - and Erik Bedard is among the reasons.
Starting tonight in Anaheim, Bedard's ERA is 1.86. It will face a major obstancle tonight in the Angels.
Bedard, in his career, is 1-4 vs. the Angels with a 6.68 ERA. One of the big reasons is Vlad Guerrero, who's on the disabled list. Another is Torii Hunter - who's not! - who is hitting .450 in 20 at-bats, with two home runs and six RBI against the lefty.
As April games go, this one's big within the AL West.
Branyan's back - boom!
Russell Branyan's first game-swing in a week resulted in his third home run and a 1-0 lead for Seattle.
Guess the back is feeling better.
In the second: Mariners 1, Angels 0
No boom, but a few bangs
Mariners have been trying to add-on since Branyan's home run, using the hit-and-run play - and failing - and not quite getting down a bunt.
Then they opened the fifth inning with consecutive singles by Ichiro, Endy Chavez and Ken Griffey Jr. - and a two-rund double from Adrian Beltre.
That got the Angels bullpen stirring.
Branyan walked to load the bases again, and Jose Lopez chopped a high infield single to make it 4-0 and keep them loaded, and Rob Johnson parachuted a single into center field.
That brought Angels reliever Rich Thompson in and put the Mariners up by five - still with no one out.
On the verge of blowing this one open, in the fifth, it's Mariners 5, Angels 0.
That should be enough ...
Thompson's first pitch in relief was wild and scored Branyan, then Yuniesky
Betancourt's one-out sacrifice fly got home another run - and the Angels went to their bullpen again.
Bedard now has a seven-run lead and has allowed one hit in four innings. In theory, this should enough.
Mariners 7, Angels 0
Now THAT'S ugly
Why you never count wins until they're over: the Angels got a loud home run from Mike Napoli, an infield single off the glove of Lopez and a bloop single from Robb Quinlan - and then it got ugly.
Chavez tried to throw a runner out at third, and his throw skipped off Beltre's foot and into the stands.
That sent one run home and put Quinlan at third, from where he scored on a fly ball.
Bedard got out of it there, but it was one bad-looking rally.
After five: Mariners 7, Angels 3