(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim set their sights on a ninth straight victory over the Seattle Mariners as the two ballclubs wrap up a four-game set today at Angel Stadium.
On Saturday, Juan Rivera went 3-for-4 and hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning, lifting the Angels to a 7-6 victory over the Mariners.
Mike Napoli went 2-for-4 with a home run for the Angels, who had also won the first two contests of this four-game series. Kevin Frandsen and Reggie Willits each added two hits and two RBI in the victory.
"We're swinging the bats much better, but we need contributions from a lot of guys," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "We were able to pressure them early in the game, and Juan has a track record of swinging the bat well as the season goes on."
The Angels have beaten the Mariners eight consecutive times and improved to 10-2 against them this season.
Justin Smoak went 3-for-4 with a double and homer, while Jose Lopez doubled twice for Seattle, which has dropped four in a row and fell to 2-12 in July.
Neither starter received a decision. Los Angeles' Joe Saunders allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in six innings, while Seattle's Ryan Rowland- Smith last just 3 1/3 frames, in which he gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and a walk.
Jason Vargas gets the start for the Mariners today and he is hoping to build off a solid performance against the Yankees on July 8th. In that game, Vargas allowed one earned run and nine hits over seven innings of work. He did not receive a decision in the team's eventual 3-1 loss.
The left-hander has made four career appearances - three starts - versus the Angels, going 2-0 with a 2.82 ERA. He last faced them on June 6th, allowing four runs - three earned - and 10 hits in six innings. He did not factor in the decision, a 9-4 loss for the Mariners.
Countering for the Angels is Ervin Santana, who has dropped two consecutive starts. The right-hander wasn't at fault in his last appearance on July 8th, allowing just one earned run and three hits over eight innings of a 1-0 loss to the White Sox.
Santana has made 17 lifetime starts against Seattle, boasting a 7-4 record and a 4.19 ERA. He picked up the win against them on June 5th, allowing one run and seven hits in six inning of an 11-2 triumph.