(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim try to move even closer in the American League West standings on Monday when they open a four- game series with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
The Angels took advantage of Oakland's woes over the weekend and have crept within 1 1/2 games in the division after taking two of three from the Kansas City Royals. On Sunday, Chris Iannetta's solo homer in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted the Halos to a 4-3 win.
"It was a fastball down," Iannetta said of the pitch that left the yard. "I didn't know if it was going to get out but I am glad it did. It's an awesome feeling."
Michael Kohn (2-1) earned the win for pitching a scoreless top of the eighth and Ernesto Frieri made the lead stick by nailing down his sixth save of the season.
David Freese finished with two RBI and Mike Trout drove in the other run for Los Angeles, which has won four of its last five and 12 of its previous 16.
Hoping to keep them in the win column on Monday, the Angels will turn to 22- year-old left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who is 4-1 with a 4.14 ERA. Skaggs beat the Houston Astros on Tuesday, as he held them to just a run and struck out six over seven innings.
Skaggs, who has never faced the Mariners, has now gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts this season and owns a 3-0 record and a 1.57 ERA in three road starts.
"What we're seeing is consistency. He's a confident kid," Scioscia said. "Consistency is probably the last dynamic of a young pitcher establishing himself. There's got to be adjustments in young pitchers, in how they compete. Obviously, hitters are going to make adjustments. It happens with every pitcher. If you're making pitches and are consistent with it, that's the foundation."
Seattle will counter with veteran righty Chris Young, who has lost his last two starts. Young was banged around by the Texas Rangers on Wednesday to the tune of four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, dropping him to 3-2 on the season to go along with a 3.53 ERA.
"Whether you give up 10 or one, you have to be better than their guy," Young said. "That's what the game is about."
Young, who has pitched to a 1.71 ERA in three home starts, is 3-3 with a 6.38 ERA against the Angels, but he hasn't faced them since 2009.
Seattle lost the final two games of its four-game series with the Houston Astros and were shut down by Dallas Keuchel in Sunday's 4-1 loss.
Hisashi Iwakuma (3-1) took the loss after yielding nine hits and four runs despite fanning six over seven full frames for the Mariners, who split the series with the Astros and have dropped six of their last 10.
"At some point, we've got to start swinging the bats," M's manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Seattle, though, has won four of five from the Angels this season.