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Napoli helps Angels rough up M's again

| June 7, 2010 9:00 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — For the last two weeks, Mike Napoli has been piling up hits. This weekend, the rest of the Angels joined in.

Napoli had four hits, including a two-run homer that snapped a seventh-inning tie and lifted Los Angeles over the Seattle Mariners 9-4 on Sunday for its fifth straight victory.

Hideki Matsui also homered to back Angels starter Joel Pineiro (4-6), who recovered from a shaky start. Erick Aybar and Napoli both went 4 for 5.

“We’ve been going pretty good for a little bit now,” Napoli said. “We’re clicking pretty well as an offense and it’s what we needed.”

The Angels roughed up Seattle pitching for 38 hits and 27 runs during the three-game series.

After the Mariners rallied to tie it at 4 in the sixth, Napoli jumped on a high slider from Shawn Kelley (3-1), driving it over the right-field wall and the outstretched arm of Ichiro Suzuki.

Napoli also singled and scored in the ninth on Juan Rivera’s double. Aybar added an RBI single and Howie Kendrick hit a run-scoring triple to break the game open.

The four hits matched a career high for Napoli. Since May 21, he is batting .291 with five homers and 14 RBIs.

“He’s hot,” said Angels acting manager Ron Roenicke, who filled in because Mike Scioscia was attending his daughter’s high school graduation. “He’s got tremendous power, especially opposite field, and when pitchers make mistakes he really sees the ball well.”

Pineiro went six innings, allowing four runs and nine hits.

“All the credit goes to the offense today,” he said. “They picked me up huge.”

Aybar smacked the first pitch from Mariners starter Jason Vargas down the left-field line for a double. Torii Hunter fought off a fastball on his hands and looped it just inside the right-field line for a two-out double that scored Aybar.

After a leadoff walk to Suzuki in the bottom half, Chone Figgins hit a chopper between the mound and third base. Pineiro fielded the ball but collided with a charging Kevin Frandsen, allowing Figgins to reach on an infield single.

“I felt a little numb for a minute because I was getting ready to throw,” Pineiro said. “Just needed that little break, little breather and I was all right.”

Jose Lopez singled past a diving Aybar at shortstop to score Suzuki, but Figgins was thrown out by left fielder Rivera trying to advance to third. Milton Bradley followed with a double to deep left-center to score Lopez from first, and Josh Wilson hit an RBI triple to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead.

Figgins disagreed with a strike called by plate umpire Tim Timmons in the second inning. He was ahead in the count 3-1 when Timmons called a strike on the outside corner. Figgins grounded out to second on the next pitch, turned around at first base and began to voice his displeasure with Timmons on the previous pitch.

Timmons then ejected Figgins from the game, prompting Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu to come out of the dugout. After a long conversation, first base umpire and crew chief Tim Tschida got involved. Wakamatsu became increasingly more animated and was tossed as well.

“A lot of it had to do with the location of where (Figgins) was and those things, in my opinion, can be avoided,” Wakamatsu said. “It’s not like showing up a guy or an umpire at home plate. You’re talking about a guy at second base, and that was my point. They made their points and we were both ejected.”

Napoli led off the fourth with a single and scored on a double off the wall in left by Robb Quinlan that was misplayed by Michael Saunders. Matsui tied it 3-all in the fifth with a towering home run into the right-field seats.

“This club was swinging the bats,” Wakamatsu said. “They were on fire.”

The Angels staged a two-out rally in the sixth, getting back-to-back singles from Quinlan and Aybar. A throwing error by Lopez at third forced first baseman Casey Kotchman to leap off the bag, allowing Kendrick to reach base and Quinlan to score, giving the Angels a 4-3 lead.

Saunders drew a two-out walk in the bottom half and scored on Suzuki’s double to the wall in left-center.

NOTES: Angels 3B Maicer Izturis was held out due to a tight right hamstring. He was available to pinch hit if needed. ... It was the first time this season the Mariners have scored three or more runs in the first inning. ... Seattle SS Jack Wilson began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma, but was scratched from the lineup due to a wet field. Wilson has been on the disabled list with a right hamstring strain since May 6. ... In the series, the Mariners’ bullpen allowed 18 runs in 10 2-3 innings for a 15.19 ERA. ... The ejection was the second of Wakamatsu’s career, both coming in the last three weeks.

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