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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Jose Suarez pitches Angels to Mariners in tense game

Seattle – While the Seattle Mariners are playing for their 2021 postseason life, the Angels are just rehearsing what they will experience in 2022.

Two young pitchers, Jose Suarez and Jose Quijada, each passed their tests with flying colors.

Suarez dropped a run in five innings and Quezada dismissed all three batsmen he faced to avoid a jam in the seventh, giving the Angels a 2-1 win over the Mariners on Friday night.

“Classic game,” said manager Joe Maddon. “Our guys got to feel it, to feel what it was like going to the playoffs. It definitely had that vibe.”

The Angels pushed the Mariners to a game behind the Boston Red Sox for a second American League wild-card berth. He is also associated with the Toronto Blue Jays and has two games left in the regular season.

The Angels won in a power environment provided by a sold-out crowd of 44,169, desperate for the Mariners to end their 20-year playoff drought.

“I love it,” Madon said before the game. “I think he’s fine. I’m excited about it myself. It’s going to feel like this time of year. You’re playing a meaningful game. It’s more meaningful to them than it is to us, But it tastes good.”

Suarez kept him quiet on the mound most of the time, however, continuing the solid work that apparently earned him a spot in the next year’s rotation.

“He’s definitely earned the right to come in and be part of the rotation,” Maddon said. “It’s largely his defeat.”

Suarez, 23, finished his season with 3.75 ERA in 98-1/3 innings. It was a dramatic change from the 7.99 ERA in 2019-20 through 83-1/3 innings.

“I’m really glad I went there and did my job,” Suarez said through an interpreter. “I want to be part of the rotation. I am happy that I am pitching well.”

Suarez dropped a run in the second, but he too would not have scored if second baseman David Fletcher had made a better relay or catcher Kurt Suzuki had caught the ball on a play on the plate.

Otherwise, Suarez would not allow the Mariners to put a runner in the scoring position. He faced a minimum of three of his five innings, thanks to two double plays.

“I really love pitching in this kind of environment,” Suarez said. “I loved the pressure I put on myself. I love when fans are yelling at me, even if it’s bad words. I love the whole experience.”

The Angels gave him the lead at the top of third. Luis Rengifo took the lead with a single. Fletcher, now hitless in his last 31 at-bats, then fought for a 10-pitch walk. Brandon Marsh doubled in left-central field, driving in both.

The Angels were still clinging to that 2–1 lead in the seventh when Mike Meyers dropped the leadoff triple to Louis Torrance and Abraham walked away from Toro.

World Nation News Desk
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