(Sports Network) -- After being completely shut down in the team's last series, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were finally able to generate some offense in Monday's matchup with Seattle. Repeating that effort could be a challenge, however, with Felix Hernandez set to toe the rubber for the Mariners when the two American League West foes continue a three-game set tonight from Safeco Field.
The Angels' bats were silenced in a home series with Baltimore over the weekend, with the Orioles limiting the three-time defending AL West champs to a paltry one run in registering a three-game sweep. Anaheim did make some noise with the bats in last night's clash, however, breaking out with four runs in the sixth inning en route to a 5-3 victory over the Mariners.
Mike Scioscia's squad came through with a power surge in the top of the sixth, belting three homers to break a scoreless deadlock. Peter Bourjos led off the frame with a solo blast and Bobby Abreu went deep three batters later for a 2-0 edge, with Hideki Matsui's two-run shot later on capping the outburst.
"We hit some balls hard [early in the game] and they got caught," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter remarked. "It's been happening a lot, so it kind of deflates you to see the same thing. But when Peter got up there and hit that home run, a guy you don't really expect to hit a home run in the park at 420 feet to dead center, it sparked us."
The big inning was enough for Ervin Santana (14-9) to collect his 14th win of the season, with the Anaheim starter limiting the Mariners to two runs while scattering eight hits over 7 2/3 frames.
All three homers came against David Pauley (2-6), who surrendered only six hits in six innings of work and had been working on a shutout until Bourjos connected.
"I thought he was really good for five innings," Seattle skipper Daren Brown said of Pauley. "The sixth inning, he just left some pitches up in the zone and they obviously didn't miss them. He's had that a couple times, where one inning's kind of got to him, and that was the case again [Monday]."
Franklin Gutierrez led the Mariners at the plate by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. That performance still wasn't enough to prevent Seattle from suffering its ninth defeat in its past 10 encounters with the Angels, who are 11-3 in the season series between the clubs. The Halos have now won four in a row at Safeco Field, having delivered a three-game sweep there from June 4-6.
The Mariners will turn to Hernandez in hopes of ending those struggles, although the staff ace has had his own troubles against the Angels as of late. The All-Star hurler is 0-2 with a 5.12 earned run average in three previous meetings with Anaheim this season and was hammered for eight runs (seven earned) in just 3 1/3 innings of work in a May 7 assignment versus Anaheim at Safeco Field.
Hernandez has been in top form recently, however, with the standout righty having posted a 3-1 record along with a sensational 0.30 ERA over his past four starts and racking up 40 strikeouts in 30 innings during that tremendous stretch. That sequence has lowered his season ERA to 2.47, which trails only Boston's Clay Buchholz for tops in the AL.
The 24-year-old has been especially strong over his last two outings. Hernandez fired eight shutout innings and struck out 11 batters to best the reigning world champion New York Yankees on August 20, then followed up by holding Boston to two runs -- one earned -- while fanning nine over 7 1/3 sharp frames in Wednesday's 4-2 triumph over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Hernandez will be seeking to improve a 4-7 lifetime ledger against the Angels, and he's compiled a 4.34 ERA over 19 career starts versus Anaheim.
The Angels counter with an accomplished pitcher of their own in Dan Haren, who's coming off one of his best showings since joining the team in a trade with Arizona in late July. The three-time All-Star yielded just one run and three hits while striking out eight Tampa Bay hitters to deal the playoff- hopeful Rays a loss this past Wednesday at the Big A.
Haren rebounded strongly from a rough start at AL Central-leading Minnesota on August 20 in which the right-hander was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits through seven innings while taking a loss. He's been rather inconsistent during his brief tenure with the Angels, having produced a 2-4 record and a so-so 4.02 ERA over seven appearances and giving up six homers in a 47-inning span.
The 29-year-old, who pitched within the AL West with Oakland from 2005-07, owns a 6-4 record with a 3.01 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mariners, though he hasn't faced them in nearly three years.