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Must C Crushed: Carp's blast gives Mariners the lead

SEATTLE -- Aside from the restaurant patrons in the Hit It Here Cafe in right field at Safeco Field, Dustin Ackley had as good a view as anyone of teammate Mike Carp's game-winning two-run blast in the Mariners' 5-3 victory over the Angels on Monday.

Which is why the rookie second baseman stood stock-still halfway between second and third and watched Carp's ball soar 432 feet into the second deck, careening into the open dining seats just to the left of the cafe windows.

"After he hit it, I just stopped," said Ackley, who was on board with a leadoff double in the eighth inning. "I was like, 'I'm just going to watch this ball and see where it ends up.' I just stood there and watched it. You don't see many balls land there. Even in batting practice, you don't see balls land up that high. On a first-pitch breaking ball, that's pretty impressive."

A lot of things were impressive on this night for the youthful Mariners, who played what manager Eric Wedge called one of their most complete games of the season to snap a three-game losing streak and beat an Angels team trying to keep pace with Texas in the American League West.

The Mariners have no such incentive left at 57-76, which is why Wedge called a team meeting prior to Monday's game to remind his young crew of the importance of finishing this season strong.

"It definitely fired everyone up," rookie Casper Wells said after nailing two baserunners from his left-field position. "I was waiting for someone to start clapping afterward or something. It definitely pumped me up.

"He got straight to the point and told us how it is. I think he got the message across to a lot of people, just how to take this game at a Major League level. We came out with a fire tonight and it showed."

Carp ripped his eighth long ball since July 22 for the go-ahead runs in the bottom of the eighth, moments after Ackley completed a 3-for-3 night with a double off reliever Hisanori Takahashi.

Carp's two-run shot increased his August RBI total to 22, three shy of the franchise record for RBIs by a rookie in a month set by Danny Tartabull in July 1986.

"I wanted to move the runner over, obviously, that was my job," said Carp. "And I did more than that, which is good. ... This is definitely the longest one I've hit here. It definitely felt better than all the ones so far."

"It was a hanging slider, and he hit it," Takahashi said. "I wanted it down and away, and it was the opposite."

Ackley snapped out of a recent slump with a night that included a double and triple -- his sixth in 62 games -- and raised the rookie second baseman's season average to .291.

The win went to rookie reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, who pitched a perfect eighth inning before Brandon League came on for his 32nd save.

Blake Beavan, one of four rookies in the Mariners' current six-man rotation, went seven innings before turning a 3-3 tie over to the bullpen. Beavan gave up eight hits, but had no walks or strikeouts as his record remained at 3-4 with a 4.11 ERA.

Other than a two-run blast by Angels rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo that capped a three-run fourth, Beavan kept the Halos off-balance.

"Just the one pitch to Trumbo I wish I could take back," said Beavan. "But you can throw 99 good pitches and one bad one and they'll jump all over it. So I'm not too down on myself about one pitch.

"I've got to look at the main picture. The biggest thing I tried to do was keep the game tied and keep us in the game because I knew our guys would come through with some runs."

That's some serious faith in a club that scored just five runs in a three-game sweep by the White Sox over the weekend, but the Mariners came out swinging and finished with seven extra-base hits, tying their season high.

Beavan also got some help from his defense, as needs to happen with a pitch-to-contact hurler. Wells put a strong throwing arm on display with two rockets from left field.

Wells, obtained from Detroit in the Doug Fister trade on July 30, threw out speedster Peter Bourjos when the Angels center fielder tried stretching a single to left leading off the third.

"I played with Bourjos and he's pretty quick out there, so I was glad I could help the team out in that situation," Wells said. "Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him turn on the jets. So I just tried to get it there in the air and make an accurate throw."

Then Wells finished off Beavan's night by doubling Erick Aybar off first on a line drive by Bourjos in the seventh inning with another laser throw from left. Wells became the first Seattle outfielder with two assists in the same game since Mike Morse on April 5, 2008.

Shortstop Brendan Ryan made a nice play on a Howard Kendrick grounder in the fourth, with Carp completing the play with a good stretch at first base. And Ryan topped that with a bare-handed snag of a spinning chopper by Bourjos to get Beavan out of trouble in the fourth.

Ichiro Suzuki continued his August revival with a pair of doubles in a 2-for-4 night as he lengthened his hitting streak to a season-long 12 games. The veteran right fielder has hit .370 during that stretch, raising his season average to .275, the highest it's been since July 5. Comments