The Los Angeles Angels have been all but eliminated from playoff contention but don't appear content to go quietly into the offseason.
Jerome Williams will try to help send the Angels to their 21st win in 28 games by winning his fourth straight start Saturday night against the Seattle Mariners, losers in 10 of 12.Los Angeles (75-78) staved off elimination by rallying for a 3-2 win in 11 innings in Friday's series opener. Andrew Romine hit a tying two-run single in the seventh and Chris Iannetta drove in the winning run."We're still working hard and trying to win some games at the end of the season," Iannetta said.Williams (8-10, 4.65 ERA) will try to deliver the Angels' fifth victory in six home games by recording his longest win streak of the season. The right-hander, who may be vying for a spot in next year's rotation, gave up one run and five hits over seven innings in a 2-1 win in Houston on Sunday."This team is a real good team. I would love to come back and be part of this team and hopefully make that run for next year," Williams said. "I just have to keep on working. I think I have two more starts, and I just have to keep building on it."Williams has had two vastly different starts against the Mariners (67-87) this season. He allowed six runs over 3 1/3 innings in an 8-3 road loss July 12 and went eight innings in a 12-0 rout in Anaheim on May 21.Seattle is 1-6 there this year and has lost four straight overall in the series. Former Angel Joe Saunders (11-15, 5.16) seems unlikely to change that given his recent efforts.The left-hander is 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA in his last two starts and 2-7 with a 7.07 ERA in his past 11. Saunders, however, had a solid outing Monday in Detroit, giving up three runs over 5 2/3 innings in a 4-2 loss."I thought Joe threw the ball well against a tough lineup," manager Eric Wedge told the teams' website.Saunders is 1-2 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts against his former club. He pitched a complete game in a 1-0 loss in Anaheim on June 19 and tossed seven scoreless innings while starting opposite Williams on July 12.Raul Ibanez is 5 for 10 all-time against Williams, and has gone 3 for 5 with a home run and a double this season.Iannetta, Josh Hamilton and Howie Kendrick are a combined 0 for 17 against Saunders this season. Hamilton has struck out three times in his six at-bats.