ANAHEIM, Calif. – If the Seattle Mariners thought the All-Star break would spur a miracle transformation in a thus-far disastrous season, their first game back was a coldhearted dose of reality.
They did get an elusive clutch hit – Ichiro’s bases-loaded, bases-clearing double in the fifth – but when he died on the bases, that just highlighted their frustrating inability to get runs home.
Meanwhile, some early trouble by starter Doug Fister and a late explosion by the Angels on Thursday sealed an 8-3 Seattle loss at Angel Stadium.
“Offensively, it was a continuation of our situational hitting (problems) – 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “There were mistakes made in today’s game that could have kept us in the game. That’s what we have to focus on.”
The Angels, who pounded out 16 hits, have won eight of 10 games this season against the Mariners. The M’s fell 16 games behind A.L. West-leading Texas, matching their largest deficit. They have dropped 10 of their last 12 overall.
Fister, such a pleasant surprise in the first half with his 3.09 earned-run average in 13 starts, got off to a rough start and didn’t make it out of the sixth. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up 12 hits and six runs, both season highs.
“I felt like I had good stuff out there,” Fister said. “I felt in rhythm the whole time. It was just a pitch here and a pitch there.”
Wakamatsu noted that Fister gave up seven ground-ball hits.
A key moment in the game came in the fifth, after the Angels had jumped to an early 4-0 lead. The M’s loaded the bases with no outs against Angels starter Joel Pineiro, and Ichiro lashed a three-run double to right.
But the M’s, continuing a season-long problem, couldn’t get Ichiro home with the tying run. Chone Figgins moved him to third with a ground out, but Ichiro was easily thrown out trying to score on Franklin Gutierrez’s grounder to third.
Justin Smoak, in his third Mariners game since being traded for Cliff Lee, struck out three times. He nearly launched his first Mariners homer in the sixth, but his drive was hauled in at the right-field wall by Abreu.
Before the game, Seattle signed veteran RHP Jamey Wright and promoted LHP Chris Seddon from Triple-A Tacoma. The 35-year-old Wright debuted for his eighth major league team in the seventh inning, allowing Mathis’ RBI single. … The Mariners got rid of former All-Star Chad Cordero, who declined a Triple-A assignment and became a free agent. Seddon could start Monday, but manager Don Wakamatsu hasn’t decided yet. … Wakamatsu also said LHP Erik Bedard felt discomfort in his throwing shoulder while playing catch, although the club didn’t yet know the seriousness of the bad news. Bedard, who hasn’t played in the majors in nearly a year, had surgery on a torn labrum last August. He developed inflammation in his shoulder last week, shortly before the Mariners hoped he would make his season debut. … Mariners 1B Russell Branyan sat out after banging his toe into a table in his hotel Thursday morning.
Angels 8, Mariners 3
E—McAnulty (1). LOB—Seattle 6, Los Angeles 8. 2B—I.Suzuki (18), F.Gutierrez (12), Jo.Lopez (18), H.Kendrick 2 (23), B.Abreu (21), J.Mathis (4). RBIs—I.Suzuki 3 (27), E.Aybar 3 (19), H.Kendrick (53), B.Abreu 3 (50), J.Mathis (9). RLSP—Seattle 4; Los Angeles 4. RMU—Figgins, Bradley, H.Kendrick, Tor.Hunter, McAnulty. GIDP—Tor.Hunter. DP—Seattle 1.
|Fister L, 3-5||52/3||12||6||6||1||2||91||3.50|
|Pnro W, 10-6||7||6||3||3||1||4||104||3.95|
T—2:42. A—41,959 (45,285).