SEATTLE (AP) — Parker Bridwell started the season in the minors. Now he’s one of the strongest pitchers for a Los Angeles Angels team that’s in the middle of a playoff hunt.
Bridwell threw six strong innings as the Angels completed a four-game sweep with a 4-2 win against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
The rookie Bridwell is 7-1 and has won five decisions in a row. The Angels have won six straight overall.
“He’s given us a shot in the arm,” said C.J. Cron, who homered. “He’s kind of been that stopper for us. Every time he goes out he’s going to give us some solid innings, and that’s kind of what we need. That’s what every team needs, and he’s done a great job. He continues to impress.”
The Angels hold the second spot in the AL wild-card race.
“Honestly, it couldn’t happen at a better time,” Bridwell said. “With the wild-card race going the way it is, we’ve come along and started to get hot at the right time.”
Los Angeles took a 4-1 lead with a three-run fifth. The Angels bullpen had held the Mariners scoreless in the previous two games, but Seattle rallied in the ninth against reliever Keynan Middleton.
Robinson Cano led off with an infield hit and Nelson Cruz doubled. Kyle Seager struck out before Jarrod Dyson hit an RBI single.
Middleton, who earned the win on both Friday and Saturday, got the next two batters to fly out, picking up his second save.
“Keynan answered the bell this week,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “He made pitches and got out of the jam.”
Ariel Miranda (7-6) struggled with his control, giving up a career-high six walks. He is winless in seven starts.
“It wasn’t a good weekend, no doubt,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We have to get back going the right direction again, in all facets of the game. We struggled pitching-wise at times this weekend, we didn’t run the bases real well, the offense couldn’t really get clicking, the defense — it happens. Unfortunately, we hit a bad spot here, a bad patch at home.”
The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the first when Cano scored on a sacrifice fly by Nelson Cruz. It was the 94th RBI for Cruz, adding to his AL-leading total.
Cron tied the game in the third with his ninth homer.
Miranda walked Mike Trout to lead off the fifth — the third time Miranda walked the first batter in an inning. Albert Pujols followed with a single, and Andrelton Simmons gave the Angels the lead with a sacrifice fly.
Another walk ended Miranda’s outing, and reliever James Pazos walked the bases loaded before giving up the two-run single to Maldonado.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Jean Segura led off the game for Seattle with a soft flare that looked like a sure single up the middle, but Simmons, the Angels shortstop, made an all-out diving catch behind second base for the out.
“Every time they hit the ball, I want to turn around and watch, because it’s going to be a play like that,” Bridwell said.
Angels: Andrew Heaney, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, pitched seven innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday, giving up one run.
Mariners: Servais said reliever David Phelps, on the 10-day DL since Aug. 7 with right elbow impingement, is progressing well and is on pace to return to the team in about a week.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-2) will start Tuesday to start a two-game series at Washington. He is making his third start since missing 85 games with a right oblique muscle strain.
Mariners: RHP Yovani Gallardo (5-7) will start in the opener of Seattle’s three-game home series against Baltimore on Monday.