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Angels' 6-run 7th backs Bridwell's start in win
By Maria Guardado and Greg Johns
ANAHEIM -- After being stymied through six innings by left-hander James Paxton, the Angels' offense erupted for six runs in the seventh against the Mariners' bullpen, leading to a 6-2 victory in Sunday's regular-season finale at Angel Stadium.
The Angels (80-82) sent 11 to the plate in the seventh and used three walks, three singles, two sacrifice flies and a three-run home run from Eric Young Jr. to break a scoreless tie and build a six-run lead.
"It always feels good to win, but we're still digesting the disappointment of not getting to our goal [of reaching the playoffs]," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We know we need to get better, so it feels good to win, but next year starts right now, and we need to do some things."
Mike Marjama launched a solo shot in the eighth -- his first career homer -- and Daniel Vogelbach added an RBI double in the ninth to account for the Mariners' runs. Seattle (78-84) ended the season tied with Texas for third in the American League West.
Angels rookie Parker Bridwell blanked the Mariners through seven innings, yielding three hits and one walk to go with three strikeouts. The 26-year-old right-hander emerged as one of the Angels' steadiest pitchers this season, logging a 3.64 ERA over 121 innings.
Asked what he'll take away from this year, Bridwell said, "That I can pitch here, that I belong. The execution of pitches is basically it. It's more location than velocity in the big leagues. I realized that before I got here, but after pitching four months, you kind of understand it a little more."
Paxton breezed through six scoreless innings, allowing only three singles and striking out nine. He finished the season with a 2.98 ERA across 136 innings in a career-high 24 starts.
"I felt like I was back to 100 percent form and throwing really good," said Paxton, making his fourth start since returning from a five-week absence with a strained pectoral muscle. "It was good to get that back and have a productive day for me, just going out there feeling like I was on top of my game."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Angels' successful challenge: After a walk and single started the seventh inning, C.J. Cron hit a chopper to Kyle Seager at third base. Shane Robinson beat the throw to second base, but Cron was called out at first base on Robinson Cano's relay. Scioscia challenged the call at first, and it was overturned after a review, loading the bases and setting up a big inning.
Young's homer: After the Angels took a 3-0 lead through two sacrifice flies and an RBI single, Young delivered the game's deciding blow with a first-pitch three-run home run off Mariners left-hander James Pazos. Young's four home runs this season match his career high, which was set in 2012 with the Rockies.
"At the end of the day, it's about winning and losing. We have to pack now and go home and just get ready for next season. That's not what you want as a player." -- Cano, on the Mariners extending the longest postseason dry spell in the Majors to 16 years
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Nelson Cruz went 0-for-3 and was hit by a pitch, but he still became just the fourth Mariners player to win an AL RBI title, with 119. Ken Griffey Jr. (1997), Edgar Martinez (2000) and Bret Boone (2001) were previous RBI champs. Cruz came up one shy of a fourth straight 40-home run season.