Branyan gives Ortega rude welcome to big leagues as M's prevail

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Russell Branyan gave Angels emergency starter Anthony Ortega a rude welcome to the big leagues with a three-run homer in the first inning, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 9-8 victory over Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Carlos Silva (1-2) won for the first time in his last 15 starts dating to last season, allowing three runs and six hits over five innings. The right-hander, who had lost eight straight decisions since his previous win on June 28, is 2-19 since starting last season 3-0.

The Angels scored five runs in the last three innings to get within one but couldn't complete the rally. David Aardsma yielded Torii Hunter's two-run homer in the ninth before finishing for his third save.

Wladimir Balentien's first home run and RBI of the season helped the first-place Mariners open a 5 1/2-game lead on the third-place Angels, who have won the last two AL West titles and four in a five-year span.

Branyan also had an RBI single, giving him six RBIs in two games after missing the previous five due to lower back spasms. He homered his first time up in Friday's 8-3 win.

Ortega was the second pitcher in three days to be promoted from Triple-A Salt Lake to make a spot start for the injury-ravaged Angels' rotation. He allowed five runs, four earned, and five hits in five innings.

Branyan drove the right-hander's 20th pitch into the seats in right-center with Ichiro Suzuki and Ken Griffey Jr. aboard in the first. Branyan's two-out shot was his fourth of the season.

Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. led off the third with a drive toward the top of the 18-foot wall in right-center. A fan with a glove reached over and caught it, and second base umpire Greg Gibson immediately clasped his hands over his head to signal fan interference.

Manager Mike Scioscia ran out to argue with Gibson and persuaded him to confer with the rest of the crew before plate umpire and crew chief Tim McClelland retreated to the umps dressing room to view the replay.

The process took only a few minutes, and the call stood -- depriving Matthews of his first homer of the season. He eventually scored on a bases-loaded single by Maicer Izturis, and Bobby Abreu followed with a run-scoring groundout that trimmed Seattle's lead to 3-2.

But the Mariners restored their three-run margin with a pair in the fourth. Balentien homered to left field with two out. Rob Johnson reached on a fielding error by second baseman Kendrick before No. 9 hitter Yuniesky Betancourt drove him in with a double.

Ortega is the eighth pitcher to start for the Angels already this season -- one more than all of last year. On Thursday night, 30-year-old right-hander Matt Palmer beat Detroit 10-5 for his first big league victory.

Game notes
This was the first time that video replay was used at Angel Stadium, which was one of three ballparks that had the equipment in operation when it debuted on Aug. 28, 2008. ... The Angels were involved in one other replay decision, on Sept. 24 at Seattle, when Los Angeles slugger Vladimir Guerrero hit a ball just outside the foul pole in left field and third base umpire Chuck Meriwether immediately called it foul. Scioscia got crew chief Tim Welke to review the play, and that call stood as well.