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Mariners vs. Angels: Seattle finally gets chance to play spoiler

The Mariners avoided the three-game sweep on Thursday. They also kept the Angels from gaining a game in the Wild Card race.

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Mariners clip Angels' wings in series finale

The Seattle Mariners successfully avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday afternoon in Anaheim. More than that, the M's were able to prevent the Angels from taking advantage of an Oakland Athletics loss earlier in the day and moving to within a game of the second Wild Card spot.

Vernon Wells hit an RBI single in the bottom of the second inning to give the Angels an early lead. In the top of the fourth, John Jaso hit a two-run homer to put the Mariners on top, 2-1. Alberto Callaspo hit an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth to tie things up, 2-2, but Seattle would reclaim the lead in the top of the fifth when Casper Wells scored on a Franklin Gutierrez groundout.

The Mariners finally broke through in the top of the seventh with a big four-run inning. Garrett Richards issued a bases-loaded walk to Trayvon Robinson and gave up a single to Kyle Seager that scored Wells and made it 5-2 Mariners. Seattle was not finished in the inning, as Jesus Montero lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Dustin Ackley and John Jaso drove in Robinson with a double.

Howie Kendrick roped a two-out, two-run double down the left field line off of Josh Kinney in the bottom of the eighth inning to bring the Angels to within three runs of the lead. The Mariners got those runs right back in the top of the ninth, however, as Dustin Ackley scored on a sacrifice bunt and throwing error by LaTroy Hawkins and Montero hit an RBI double to push the Seattle lead back out to 9-4.

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Seattle hopes to play spoilers for the Angels

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will host the Seattle Mariners for the final time in 2012 this afternoon, and they'll do so sitting two games behind the Oakland A's for the American League's final Wild Card spot. The Mariners will still welcome the Angels to Seattle for the final series of the season after heading to Oakland this weekend.

Seattle will send Hisashi Iwakuma to the mound on Thursday as they hope to play spoiler for their divisional foe. Iwakuma is 7-5 with a 3.41 ERA in his first season in Major League Baseball.

The Angels will be countering with Dan Haren. Haren has compiled a 12-11 record in 2012 with a disappointing 4.35 ERA. Haren has been on a roll of late though, sporting a 2.45 ERA over his last six starts.

First pitch is scheduled for 12:35 p.m. PT on Thursday afternoon. ROOT Sports will have the television coverage in the Seattle area, while 710 ESPN will carry the local radio broadcast.

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M's can't get the job done for King Felix

The Seattle Mariners put up another valiant fight against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, not even a quality start from Felix Hernandez was able to hold up, as the Mariners dropped the second game of the three-game series by a final of 4-3.

The Angels opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run double by Erick Aybar. The Mariners tied things up in the top of the third on an RBI single from Brendan Ryan and a sacrifice fly from Franklin Gutierrez.

Justin Smoak hit his third home run in two days in the fourth inning to put the Mariners on top, 3-2. It was the 19th homer of the season for Smoak, who continues to be great in September and ... less-great ... in other months. That home run put Hernandez in line for the win, but the bullpen was unable to hold the lead.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Torii Hunter dropped a flare into right field that scored the tying run.

Maicer Izturis led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to right. A wild pitch by Stephen Pryor allowed Izturis to take second base and Bourjos bunted him over to third. The Mariners intentionally walked Mike Trout to pitch to Hunter, who lined a single to right field for the walk-off win.

Hernandz ended up with six innings pitched, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out nine.

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