If C.J. Wilson's intent was to add a little drama to the proceedings at Safeco Field on Friday night, the Angels left-hander did a bang-up job of it.

Staked to a five-run lead in the third inning, Wilson allowed a weak-hitting Seattle club to load the bases with no outs in the fourth and one out in the fifth and to put runners on second and third with no outs in the sixth.

But as Wilson's pitch count soared, so did his strikeouts, and those bursts of dominance allowed him to minimize damage in the middle innings and the Angels, despite some nail-biting moments in the later innings, to claim a 6-3 victory over the Mariners.

“At times C.J was electric, and at times it was rough,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “He had a five-run lead but had trouble getting the ball in zones and putting guys away.”

Wilson needed 110 pitches to get through 51/3 innings in which he gave up three runs and seven hits and struck out nine. He struck out Justin Smoak for the first out of the fourth, and after hitting Kelly Shoppach with a pitch to force in a run, he whiffed Endy Chavez and Brendan Ryan to end the inning.

He escaped the fifth by getting Michael Morse to pop out and striking out Smoak. But after Shoppach singled and Robert Andino doubled in the sixth, both scored on a Chavez sacrifice fly and a Ryan safety squeeze to pull Seattle to within 5-3.

The Angels padded the lead on Peter Bourjos' double, a wild pitch and Albert Pujols' sacrifice fly in the seventh, and second baseman Howie Kendrick made a game-saving play in the bottom of the seventh.

With two on and two out, Dustin Ackley ripped a grounder that appeared headed to right field for a single.

But Kendrick knocked the ball down with a dive to his left, scrambled to his feet, picked up the ball in shallow right, spun and fired a perfect one-hop throw to the plate to nail Smoak, who was trying to score from second.