In a much publicized battle of the aces, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren matched Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez pitch for pitch. Neither backed down.

After the two aces hit the showers, Seattle capitalized, scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the Angels, 3-1.

For seven innings, Haren and Hernandez gave the crowd at Safeco Field an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, tossing goose eggs until both tired after seven innings. Haren scattered seven hits and struck out eight, throwing 110 pitches, while Hernandez threw a gem of his own, giving up just three hits and striking out eight, throwing 103 pitches.

In the top of the eighth, the Angels scratched across a run. After Peter Bourjos struck out swinging, Alberto Callaspo doubled to left. Howie Kendrick then laced a double to left field, the ball bouncing into the stands for a ground-rule double, plating Callaspo with the game’s first run.

Bobby Abreu was then intentionally walked, putting runners on first and second. Torii Hunter ended the threat, grounding into a double play to end the inning.

Seattle answered in the bottom of the frame, and then some. Kevin Jepsen (2-4) replaced Haren on the mound. After Franklin Guitierrez struck out swinging, Russell Branyan walked. Matt Tuiasosopo pinch ran for Branyan, and was moved to third on a Jose Lopez single to center.

Casey Kotchman then walked, loading the bases for Michael Saunders. Saunders delivered with a single to center, scoring Tuiasosopo and evening the game at 1-1. Adam Moore followed with a broken bat single just over the reach of Howie Kendrick, scoring Lopez, and Josh Wilson followed suit, singling to center to score Kotchman.

Mariners closer David Aardsma came on to put down the Angels in the top of the ninth, earning his 26th save of the season.

Brandon League (9-6) got the win, despite giving up the first and only run to the Angels.

The Angels will look to take the rubber match of the three-game series on Wednesday night, sending Trevor Bell (1-4, 5.07 ERA) to the hill versus the Mariners’ Jason Vargas (9-7, 3.53 ERA).

You can contact Doug on Twitter, @desertdesperado.



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