<
>

Mariners go for four-game sweep Sunday

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Ryan Franklin has stopped worrying about
the lack of run support that has plagued him the last 1½ seasons.

Franklin beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 on Saturday night,
thanks to a five-run fifth inning capped by Richie Sexson's two-run
double. It's the first time Franklin has won consecutive starts
this season, following his six-hit shutout at Kansas City last
Monday.

"I don't know how to act right now. Winning two in a row -- I
can't remember the last time I did that. It feels good," he said
after the last-place Mariners beat the AL West leaders for the
third straight time.

Franklin (5-10) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings,
striking out three and walking three. The right-hander, who
received the worst run support in the majors last season, has left
seven starts this year before his teammates could score a run. The
Mariners were shut out in three of those games, including a 5-0
loss to the Angels at Safeco Field.

"I told myself before my start at Kansas City that I wasn't
going to even think about run support. That's over with," Franklin
said. "I can only control what I can control -- and that's keeping
them from scoring."

Raul Ibanez had three hits and drove in a run for the last-place
Mariners, who beat the Angels 10-2 and 10-4 in the first two games
of the four-game series.

"Obviously, it's very pleasing to do that," manager Mike
Hargrove said. "But beyond the Angels, we're finally swinging the
bats the way I felt like we were capable of when we came out of
spring training.

"We're not going to score 10 runs every night, but we should be
an offensive threat every night. We've gotten hits to keep rallies
going and big hits with two outs to score runs."

John Lackey (6-5) was roughed up for the third consecutive time,
allowing five runs and nine hits in seven innings and striking out
seven. He has surrendered 16 earned runs and 25 hits in 17 1/3
innings over his last three starts, after going 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA
in his previous 12 outings.

Last Sept. 15 at Seattle, Franklin beat Lackey 1-0 with a
two-hitter after going 0-11 in his previous 17 starts.

"We did a great job tonight getting to Lackey," Franklin said.
"He's been very tough against us in the past. It seems like I
throw against him every time we play the Angels. We got some clutch
hits with guys in scoring position, which we've been doing these
first three games here. And that's what it takes."

Lackey struck out six consecutive batters during one stretch, 33
years to the day that Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan set the Angels'
franchise record with eight consecutive strikeouts in a one-hitter
against Boston. Lackey is averaging 8.8 strikeouts per nine
innings, second-best in the AL behind Minnesota's Johan Santana
(10.4).

"The first few innings he was tough," said Adrian Beltre, the
first batter in Lackey's strikeout streak. "His breaking ball had
a pretty good break, and he was locating his fastball in and out.
But a couple of our guys got good at-bats. And when we got men on
base, he lost his focus a little bit and we took advantage."

The Mariners grabbed a 5-1 lead with RBI singles by Mike Morse,
Randy Winn and Ibanez, followed by Sexson's double to right-center.

"For the most part, I felt like I threw the ball fine," Lackey
said. "But they've got some pretty good hitters that are hot right
now. They hit the ball well tonight, and have been doing it the
whole series."

Winn's RBI was his seventh in three games, including a two-run
homer Thursday night and a grand slam Friday.

"Randy two weeks ago was hitting .300 and then just went into a
nose dive. But he's come in here and swung the bat well," Hargrove
said. "Randy's a good player. And given the at-bats, he's going to
be around his usual numbers -- maybe a little higher."

The Angels opened the scoring in the third on Darin Erstad's RBI
groundout. Jose Molina led off the inning with an infield single
and Chone Figgins hit a one-out double down the left-field line --
after going hitless in his first 18 career at-bats against
Franklin. Figgins singled against Franklin his next time up.

Adam Kennedy greeted reliever Ron Villone with an RBI single in
the seventh, trimming Seattle's lead to 5-2. Ichiro Suzuki got the
run back in the ninth with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly against
Esteban Yan.

Juan Rivera led off the ninth against J.J. Putz with his seventh
home run.

Game notes
Angels reliever Brendan Donnelly made his first appearance
since serving an eight-game suspension for having pine tar on his
glove in a game against Washington on June 14. He struck out three
consecutive batters in the eighth after giving up a leadoff double
to Ibanez. ... The Angels designated INF David Matranga for
assignment to make room for INF Zach Sorensen on the 40-man roster.
Sorensen was called up Saturday from Triple-A Salt Lake after 3B
Dallas McPherson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with
inflammation in his left hip.