By David Krueger Herald Writer
SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners are hoping their 2013 season looks a lot like their 2012 finale.
The M’s offense exploded and pitcher Blake Beaven kept the Los Angeles Angels’ offense in check with eight scoreless innings as Seattle cruised to a 12-0 win in its season finale Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field.
“It’s a good strong way to finish the season,” said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. “Blake threw the ball very well today … and offensively the guys were really good. It was a nice way to finish things off.”
It was a career day for Seattle right fielder Casper Wells, who tied a personal best with five runs batted in. His three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh capped a six-run burst for the Mariners. Wells batted 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and his 10th home run of the year.
“It’s a good way to end the season,” Wells said of getting his 10th homer. “Got double digits in home runs, been trying for the last couple days to get a home run. Came up a little short (on a few deep fly balls). If it was next year, those would have been home runs,” thanks to the recently announced plans to move in the outfield wall at Safeco Field next season.
Wells wasn’t the only Mariner to do damage offensively. Every Seattle starter reached base at least once and scored at least one run. Kyle Seager (2-for-5) and Jesus Montero (2-for-5) scored two runs apiece, with Montero adding three RBI. The Mariners finished with 11 hits.
Seattle chased Angels starting pitcher and Cy Young candidate Jered Weaver from the game after just one inning. Weaver gave up two runs on two hits and walked two batters. He finished the season 20-5, with three of his five losses coming at the hands of the Mariners.
Beavan, meanwhile, might have been pitching to save his spot in next year’s rotation. He went eight innings and didn’t allow a run, or strike out a batter. He gave up seven hits and walked one Angel.
“I wasn’t trying not to strike them out … but I’m not a big strikeout guy anyways,” he said. “For me it’s just about getting outs. Keeping the ball in the park. Keeping the ball on the ground. Keeping the ball down.”
As for where he stands going into next season?
“I think everybody’s got to fight for a job— unless you’re Felix (Hernandez),” Beaven said with a laugh.
The final game had a paid attendance of 15,614, bringing the unofficial season total to 1,723,286, the lowest in Safeco Field history. However, the fans had plenty to cheer about during Wednesday’s game, with the Mariners scoring early and often.
Seager hit an RBI double in the first inning that scored leadoff batter Dustin Ackley. Seager scored three batters later on a fielder’s choice by Montero. Seattle kept piling it on, scoring two runs in both the third and sixth innings and then adding six more in the seventh.
Wells said he believes the strong showing in the final game demonstrates the progress the Mariners made this season and underscores that the team is going to play hard every single game, be it Game 1 or Game 162.
“It just shows that we’re not giving in at the end of the season,” Wells said. “The last game we could just kind of give up, but we’re giving it everything we’ve got till the end. It’s just characteristic of our ballclub all year.”
Rookie Mike Trout led the Angels, batting 2-for-3. The speedy Trout was caught trying to steal his 50th base of the season in the first inning, and was thrown out at home while testing the arm of Wells in the sixth.
“He shouldn’t have went there, I was way too shallow,” Wells said with a smile. “… I know he’s going to be running around. Just got him. Threw out the right lure for the Trout man.”
The victory improved the Mariners’ record to 75-87 (.414), an eight game improvement over 2011 (67-95). After the game, there were lots of handshakes and hugs all around as the players prepared to go their separate ways for the offseason.
Wedge said that he is pleased with the improvements made by everybody, and that he expects the Mariners to be even better come 2013.
“We got better. Individuals got better. We got better as a ballclub,” Wedge said. “We’re doing it in a real way. I mean this is a lot different than last year. Obviously we won more games.”
Wedge added that everything the organization is doing “is about building a championship club” and doing it in a manner that can sustain the success for years.
“That’s the road less travelled,” Wedge said. “That takes a little bit longer, and it can be a little more painful at times. But hell man, I’m not just looking to get there. We’re looking to get there and be able to stay there.
“And that’s the path we’re on and that’s the path we’re going to stay on.”