Series: Game 1 of 4

Anaheim leads 1-0 (as of 9/13)

Game 1: Monday, September 13
Game 2: Tuesday, September 14
Game 3: Wednesday, September 15
Game 4: Thursday, September 16
in 10

Angels 5

(82-61, 41-30 away)

Mariners 1

(53-90, 34-39 home)

    10:05 PM ET, September 13, 2004

    Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

    123456789 R H E
    ANA 013000100 5 8 0
    SEA 000000100 1 7 1

    W: K. Escobar (10-10)

    L: C. Baek (1-3)

    S: F. Rodriguez (12)

    Angels 4½ games back in wild-card

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Garret Anderson and the Anaheim Angels made sure they remained focused against the lowly Seattle Mariners.

    Chasing George Sisler (257 hits)
    With 19 team games remaining
    Sisler (1920) Ichiro (2004)
    135 games 143 games
    216 hits 231 hits

    Anderson hit a three-run homer to back Kelvim Escobar's seven strong innings, leading the Angels to a 5-1 win Monday night.

    "Anything we can get nowdays is good," said Anderson, who added that the Mariners beat Boston twice in a four-game series.

    "You can't look at them as a team that's not making postseason," he said. "They're going out there to do the best they can. They're trying to beat us."

    The Angels moved 4½ games behind idle Boston in the AL wild-card race, but they couldn't make up any ground on Oakland, which kept its two-game lead over Anaheim in the division with a 7-6 victory in 10 innings over Texas at home Monday night.

    After the game, many Angels players were gathered around a TV in their locker room watching the A's-Texas game.

    "It's going to be a dogfight right to the end," Angels catcher Bengie Molina said of the Oakland-Anaheim battle for the division championship.

    "We're just trying to win our games, that's all," Molina said.

    Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went hitless -- 0-for-4 with a walk -- for the third time in four games, but still is on pace for 262 hits, which would break the 84-year-old major league single-season record of 257 set by Hall of Famer George Sisler.

    Suzuki was asked if he was feeling the pressure of trying to catch Sisler.

    "It doesn't matter if it's the first or the 700th at-bat of the year, there is always going to be pressure," he said. "It doesn't matter who you are, you're going to have pressure."

    Kelvim Escobar (10-10) became a double-digit winner for the fourth time in his career, but lost his shutout bid when Jose Lopez homered with two outs in the seventh. Escobar allowed one run and six hits, walked one, threw a wild pitch and struck out seven.

    Scot Shields got two outs in the eighth, and Francisco Rodriguez got four outs for his 12th save in 19 chances.

    Escobar has won three out of his last four starts and five out of seven. Before that, he lost six of seven decisions.

    "For some reason lately, I feel real good -- real strong," he said. "I've been throwing a lot of strikes. That's been the key."

    Anderson put the Angels ahead 4-0 with his 13th homer, his third at Safeco Field and ninth on the road this season, in the third off rookie Cha Seung Baek (1-3). It came after David Eckstein walked and Vladimir Guerrero singled and was barely inside the right-field foul pole.

    "I didn't think it was going to go foul," Anderson said.

    Manager Mike Scioscia said the 4-0 lead was just what Escobar needed.

    "The early runs were nice for Kelvim," Scioscia said. "He hasn't been in a position like that for a long time when he can relax and make pitches. That was a big hit from Garret."

    In the second, Jose Guillen and Molina each doubled for Anaheim's first run.

    Guerrero got his 111th RBI in the seventh on a groundout that put the Angels ahead 5-0.

    Lopez, Seattle's 20-year-old rookie shortstop, hit his fifth homer of the season in the seventh.

    Baek, a rookie making his third major league start, pitched seven innings and allowed five runs and eight hits.

    Game notes

    Escobar won 13 games for Toronto last season and 14 and 10 for the Blue Jays in 1999 and 2000, respectively. He was signed as a free agent by the Angels last November. ... Mariners LF Raul Ibanez threw out rookie Casey Kotchman at the plate to complete a double play after Kotchman tried to score on Eckstein's line-drive out in the fourth. It was Ibanez's ninth outfield assist of the season. ... Kotchman, a rookie, played 1B for the Angels in place of Darin Erstad, who came out of Sunday's game after four innings because of lower back stiffness. Erstad is day-to-day. ... Suzuki is hitting .154 (4-for-26) lifetime against Escobar. ... After the game, Scioscia announced that Aaron Sele would stay in the Angels' rotation and pitch Thursday night against the Mariners despite being hit hard in his last two starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press