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SEA@COL: Beavan strikes out seven in second win

Heading into a three-game series with the Mariners, the Angels were perhaps the hottest team in baseball, fresh off series wins against the Yankees and the American League West-leading Rangers that gave the Angels 10 wins in their last 12 games.

But if the Angels want a chance to win a fifth straight series, they'll have to beat the Mariners on Tuesday and Wednesday after dropping the opener on Monday, 8-6.

"This schedule brings a tough challenge every day," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "You face a tough pitcher. You face lineups that can beat you. You have to play well to win in this league, and that's what you have to focus on."

It won't be easy against the Mariners, though, who despite a 25-32 record have been putting up some big offensive numbers lately. It was last week the young Seattle lineup put up 21 runs against Texas, which was a day after a 10-run outburst. In their past six games, the Mariners have scored 55 runs, which is more than nine a contest.

"These guys really put it together these last couple nights," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge recently. "You're seeing a lot of what we've been talking about with the potential of these young players. It's fantastic to see."

Young Garrett Richards will be charged with stopping the suddenly potent Mariners. The right-hander makes a spot start, his first of the season, replacing Jered Weaver in the rotation. The Angels ace is on the disabled list with a back ailment.

Mariners: Beavan used to offensive support
If the Mariners score 21 runs each time Blake Beavan takes the mound, the right-hander would be arguably the happiest pitcher in the game. Of course, that was a once-in-a-blue-moon offensive outburst, but the young righty now has good experience pitching with such a big lead.

"You're obviously not worried about giving up a couple runs when you've got a substantial lead like that," said Beavan, who starts Tuesday's game against the Angels, "so I was just trying to go right after them and go as deep as I could.

"The first couple innings were so long, I wasn't used to waiting that long. It was good because we were scoring runs, so you can't complain about that. But even with those long innings, I just tried to go right out there and get strike one and go right after them because the biggest thing you don't want to do with lead like that is walk guys."

Angels: Hunter slumping at plate
Torii Hunter picked up a hit in Monday's series opener, but still has just four hits in his last 48 at-bats, dating back to an 0-for-3 performance against Toronto on May 3. He was away from the team for two weeks tending to a family matter.

"I think it's the timing at the plate," Scioscia said. "You're not going to be locked-in all the time. Probably before he went away he was starting to search for a couple things. And now that he's back, his swing is good. I just think his timing is off."

Worth noting
• Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak was named the American League Player of the Week for May 28-June 3, batting .348 (8-for-23) with a double, three home runs and eight RBIs.

• Monday's game was the 2,000th in Scioscia's managerial career. He is 1,094-906 (.547).

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