SEATTLE — Justin Upton’s tie-breaking, two-run double in the top of the eighth inning lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Upton hit the first pitch he saw from Mariners reliever Nick Vincent (3-2) into the gap in left-center field, allowing Ben Revere and Mike Trout to score as the Angels broke a tie and went ahead 4-2. Upton later scored on a wild pitch by Marc Rzepczynski.
The Mariners cut it to 5-3 on Jean Segura’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth.
The Angels (73-70) moved to within a game of the Minnesota Twins in the American League wild-card standings. Seattle (71-72) remained three games back.
Yusmeiro Petit came on in the ninth to retire the side while earning his third save for the Angels. Los Angeles reliever Cam Bedrosian (6-4) earned the win after pitching a scoreless seventh inning.
Angels’ starter Parker Bridwell allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings.
Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez had a solid outing as well, allowing just two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings. Both runs came off solo shots from Trout and Luis Valbuena, the latter tying the score in the seventh.
The Angels jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Trout’s 28th home run of the season. His one-out solo shot in the top of the first inning was Trout’s first homer of September.
Seattle came right back in a befuddling bottom of the second inning that included a blown steal attempt and at least three catchable balls that fell between players. The most egregious came on a two-out, routine fly ball that fell between Upton and Trout in left-center field for an RBI triple by Ben Gamel.
Gamel’s fly ball fell to the ground when Upton let up, believing Trout was going to make the catch. The gaffe allowed Gamel to reach third base while Kyle Seager easily scored from third to tie the score 1-1.
Mike Zunino’s RBI single, which dropped a foot or two in front of Los Angeles right fielder Kole Calhoun, gave Seattle a 2-1 lead.
The Mariners strung together five consecutive hits in the second inning but only had two runs to show for it, thanks in part to a baserunning gaffe by Mitch Haniger.
Valbuena tied it at 2-2 on his 19th home run of the season on the 101st and final pitch thrown by Ramirez.
NOTES: The Mariners expect to have part of their rotation back next week. The early probables for the upcoming series at Texas include RHP Felix Hernandez on Thursday, while LHP James Paxton has been slotted to start Friday’s game at Houston. ... Los Angeles DH Albert Pujols had a rare stolen base in the first inning. Pujols took off from first base while Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez started his wind-up, and he ended up getting his second steal of the season and his first since May 2. ... The early diagnosis on Los Angeles LHP Andrew Heaney was that he would avoid a trip to the disabled list. Manager Mike Scioscia said Heaney’s shoulder stiffness was not believed to be serious. Heaney came out of Saturday’s start in the third inning.