SEATTLE – The Anaheim Angels looked like World Series champions in their opening series.
Adam Kennedy hit a go-ahead, two-run single during a five-run rally in the ninth inning, leading the Angels over the Seattle Mariners 5-1 Thursday for a three-game sweep.
Anaheim, which stumbled to a 77-85 record last year after winning the 2002 World Series, came back after a solid effort by Seattle starter Freddy Garcia. He limited the high-powered Angels to four hits over seven innings, struck out seven and walked two.
Scott Shields (1-0) relieved in seventh, throwing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Seattle seemed to have it wrapped up after Julio Mateo pitched a scoreless eighth. Left-hander Mike Myers took over in the ninth, giving up a leadoff single to Garret Anderson.
Everything still looked good for Seattle when manager Bob Melvin turned to Shigetoshi Hasegawa (0-1), who converted 16 of 17 save chances last year.
But singles by Troy Glaus and Jose Guillen loaded bases with no outs. Hasegawa struck out Tim Salmon, but Kennedy lined a single just over Bret Boone’s glove at second
Hasegawa tried a pickoff attempt to get Kennedy at first, and was called for a balk that scored Guillen for a 3-1 lead. Darin Erstad added a two-out, two-run double.
Seattle went ahead 1-0 – its first lead of the season – after Rich Aurilia hit a fourth-inning comebacker that bounced off the glove of Anaheim starter Kelvim Escobar. Raul Ibanez came home on the play.
Anaheim scored 20 runs on 28 hits in the first two games of the series, but Garcia clamped the Angels with a mix of fastballs and sliders. Four times, he retired the side in order.
Escobar, who made his Angels’ debut after signing an $18.75 million, three-year contract during the offseason, allowed seven hits in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks.