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Cruz, Albers lead Mariners past Angels 8-1 to gain ground

Seattle Mariners' Robinson Cano watches a double against the Los Angeles Angels during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

SEATTLE (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer, Mitch Haniger was a double short of the cycle and Andrew Albers pitched six scoreless innings as the Seattle Mariners gained ground in the wild-card chase with an 8-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

Cruz's 32nd homer capped a six-run fourth as Seattle opened an 8-0 lead. Haniger homered in the first, tripled in the third and singled in the fourth. He grounded out in the sixth and was on deck when the eighth ended.

Albers (4-1), acquired from Atlanta on Aug. 11, allowed four hits while striking out four and walking one. Dan Altavilla and Shae Simmons each pitched a scoreless inning before Casey Lawrence allowed a run on three hits in the ninth.

Angels starter Andrew Heaney (1-2) left in the third after 60 pitches with shoulder soreness.

Seattle moved within three games of Minnesota for the second AL wild card. All four teams that were directly ahead of the Mariners in the race lost.


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