Branyan homers in Mariners' win over Angels

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Russell Branyan homered in his return to the Seattle lineup, and the Mariners used a six-run fifth inning to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 on Friday night.

Erik Bedard (2-1) allowed three runs — two earned — and five hits in 6 2-3 innings for Seattle. The left-hander's ERA after four starts is 2.08.

Branyan, who missed the previous five games because of lower back spasms, gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his third homer and added an RBI double in the sixth to make it 8-3.

Shane Loux (0-2) failed to retire any of the seven batters he faced in the fifth and was pulled after 84 pitches with the Angels trailing 5-0. Adrian Beltre hit a two-run double, Jose Lopez drove in another run with a chopper off the plate that third baseman Chone Figgins had no play on, and Rob Johnson followed with a bloop RBI single.

Rich Thompson came in to face Franklin Gutierrez and bounced a wild pitch past Mike Napoli, whose return throw to the plate would have been in time to retire the sliding Branyan had Thompson simply turned his head to his right — instead of holding the ball and staring back at Napoli.

Yuniesky Betancourt capped the rally with a sacrifice fly for a 7-0 lead.

After getting 39 baserunners into scoring position and totaling 24 runs in their three-game series against Detroit, the Angels got only one runner as far as second base against Bedard over the first four innings. But the Angels pushed across three runs in the fifth.

Mike Napoli drove an 0-2 pitch into the top tier of the double-decker bullpen in left field for his third homer, the first off Bedard this season. Howie Kendrick singled and came all the way home on a single by Robb Quinlan, as the throw to third from left fielder Endy Chavez bounced past Beltre and into the stands.

Loux, making his third start of the season, was charged with seven runs, 11 hits and three walks.


RHP Anthony Ortega will make his major league debut Saturday night, becoming the eighth pitcher to start for the Angels already this season — one more than all of last year. ... Napoli's homer was the first allowed by a Mariners pitcher since April 15, when the Angels' Torii Hunter hit a two-run shot off LHP Jarrod Washburn. Seattle's streak of seven consecutive games without a home run allowed was two shy of the franchise record, set during the strike season of 1981. ... The Mariners have won the opener in each of their first six series.

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