The Angels had as tough a time hitting Chris Jakubauskas on Wednesday night as they would have had spelling his last name, even if they were spotted two vowels.
The 30-year-old rookie right-hander outdueled Angels pitcher Ervin Santana, giving up two hits in six innings to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 1-0 victory in Safeco Field.
The Angels amassed 16 runs and 29 hits in wins over Seattle on Monday and Tuesday, but Jakubauskas and relievers Miguel Batista, Mark Lowe and David Aardsma combined to hand the Angels their second shutout this week.
"He had his fastball working, and he threw a lot of them," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said of Jakubauskas. "It looks good, but before you know it, right when you swing, it's on you. If you locate pitches, you have a great chance to win games."
Jakubauskas, a La Verne Damien High graduate, played four years of independent league ball, including 2006 with the Fullerton Flyers, going 8-1 with a 3.09 earned-run average.
The Mariners took a flier on Jakubauskas in 2007, signing him to a minor league contract, and two springs later, he was a surprise addition to Seattle's opening day roster.
After two relief appearances, Jakubauskas moved to the rotation and made his first big league start against the Angels, the team he grew up rooting for, on April 16.
Jakubauskas gave up two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-1 loss that night, and after surviving Chone Figgins' 13-pitch at-bat to open the game Wednesday, he gave up only a single to Gary Matthews Jr. in the second inning and Hunter's double in the fourth.
The Angels went on to load the bases in the fourth when Kendry Morales and Matthews both walked, but Howie Kendrick swung at a first pitch and flied weakly to right field to end the inning.
"You want to stay aggressive and be selective in that situation," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was a fastball over the plate, and Howie didn't get on top of it enough. It's not a matter of taking a pitch, because that might be the only one you have an opportunity to square up."
Hunter had a lengthy conversation with Kendrick, who is batting .239 this season, after the game -- call it a Torii tutorial -- and though the veteran didn't want to go too much into detail, he said it was safe to assume Kendrick's first-pitch swing in the fourth came up.
"He's still young, he's trying to learn the game, and it's up to me and the other veterans to help him," Hunter said. "It's like when I was coming up, Kirby Puckett and other guys helped me. I'm from Arkansas. I didn't even know what a slider was. You learn from the veteran guys, and that's what I'm trying to do with Howie."
The Mariners scored their run in the first inning when Ichiro Suzuki led off with a double to right-center and came home on a one-out single to right-center by Ken Griffey Jr.
Santana, who missed the first six weeks of the season because of an elbow ligament sprain, showed much better command than he did in his first start last Thursday, limiting Seattle to five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
"Ervin pitched well," Scioscia said. "He maintained his stuff deeper into the game."
It was Santana's first loss in seven career decisions against Seattle.
Angels right fielder Bobby Abreu was pulled in the second inning because of a left big toe injury, suffered when he hit the bag awkwardly on a first-inning groundout. X-rays were normal, and Scioscia said Abreu, who is batting .300, would only miss a few days.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times