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Short-handed Angels hand M's eighth straight defeat

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels played without
their manager and two players, and were still too much for the
slumping Seattle Mariners.

Kelvim Escobar pitched seven strong innings, Vladimir Guerrero
hit a three-run double and the short-handed Angels beat Seattle 5-2
Thursday night to hand the Mariners their eighth straight loss.

The Angels played without second baseman Adam Kennedy and
reliever Kevin Gregg as each began a four-game suspension for their
roles Wednesday night's bench-clearing brawl at Texas. Brendan Donnelly appealed his four-game suspension but didn't pitch.

"If you saw us before the game, everybody was up and feeling
good," said bench coach Ron Roenicke, who helped run the team with
pitching coach Bud Black while manager Mike Scioscia started
serving a three-game suspension. "You didn't see anybody walking
around moping. It was a good atmosphere."

Escobar (9-10) won for the fourth time in five decisions after
going 0-7 over his previous eight starts. The right-hander allowed
a run and seven hits, struck out seven and walked one.

"One of the keys was trusting my stuff a little bit more.
Sometimes, I tend to overthrow the ball," Escobar said.

Seattle's losing streak is its longest since a nine-game slide
in July 2004. The Mariners are a season-worst 12½ games out of
first place, after being just three games out on July 26.

"You take the good with the bad," losing pitcher Jamie Moyer
said. "I've been on the good side of this, but now we're on the
down side and it's up to the people in this room to deal with it
and get out of it. The season's not over. We've got 41 games left,
and you play them all hard and with passion. Otherwise you
shouldn't be here."

Moyer (6-12) was charged with three runs and seven hits over 6
2/3 innings in his third start of the season against Los Angeles.
The 43-year-old left-hander fell to 18-16 against the Angels in his
career.

"Your job as a pitcher is to go out and battle and try to make
good pitches, repeat mechanics, repeat location, get ahead in the
count, force contact, rely on your defense and rely on your
offense," Moyer said. "A lot of good things have to happen -- and
right now, they're not happening for us."

Seattle's Kenji Johjima hit an RBI double off Scot Shields in
the ninth before Francisco Rodriguez got two outs for his 32nd save
in 35 chances. Rodriguez threw a wild pitch that put runners on
second and third, but came back to strike out pinch-hitter Chris
Snelling and retire Ichiro Suzuki on a groundout.

The Angels built a 2-0 lead with sacrifice flies by Orlando Cabrera in the third inning and Howie Kendrick in the fourth.
Kendrick's came after a triple by Garret Anderson.

The Mariners, who have given Moyer the worst run support in the
league this season, finally broke through against Escobar in the
seventh when Johjima led off with a double, took third on Yuniesky
Betancourt's single to right and scored on a double-play grounder
by Willie Bloomquist.

Chone Figgins chased Moyer in the bottom half with his third hit
of the game, a two-out double. Rookie Mark Lowe hit Maicer Izturis
with a pitch and walked Cabrera, loading the bases for Guerrero,
who lined an 0-1 slider to right-center to clear the bases and give
the Angels a 5-1 lead.

Lowe, who didn't retire any of the four batters he faced, had
not allowed a run in 17 2/3 innings over his previous 13
appearances since his promotion from Double-A San Antonio on July 7
-- a franchise record for shutout innings from the start of a
career.

"Every time I go out there, I have confidence in myself to do a
good job," Lowe said. "Tonight the results were just a little bit
different, and I didn't do my job. The streak was fun and
enjoyable, and now it's time to start a new one."

Game notes
Seattle 1B Richie Sexson rejoined the team after missing
three games for the arrival of his newborn twins, which were born
more than five weeks prematurely. ... The Mariners optioned INF
Mike Morse to Triple-A Tacoma to make room for Sexson, who came off
the bereavement list. They also activated OF Snelling from the
15-day disabled list and optioned RHP Sean Green to Tacoma. ...
Gregg watched the first six innings from the front row of the press
box. ... Seattle's Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 13
games with a single his first time up. Beltre has reached base
safely in 28 straight, the longest current streak in the majors.