Mariners come up fall short of Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. – By the eighth inning, an ever-improving Michael Saunders sat just a triple away from hitting for the cycle.
Unfortunately for his Mariners, his home run, double and single constituted three of the four total hits the team had managed in the game. That fact alone helped explain a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels more than any other numbers on a Tuesday night in which the Mariners didn’t get much of anything going.
Angels starter Garrett Richards, making a spot start in place of injured Jered Weaver, cruised through seven innings for the first victory of his major league career. Richards fanned eight Seattle hitters and yielded his only run of the game when Saunders took him over the center-field wall for a solo homer in the third.
The Angels began teeing off early on Mariners starter Blake Beavan and the offensive firepower Seattle needed to stay in the game just wasn’t around this time.
Mark Trumbo and Torii Hunter hit back-to-back home runs off Beavan in the second inning to give the Angels a lead they never relinquished.
Trumbo put things out of reach in the fifth inning with his second homer, a two-run shot to dead-center. Beavan got smacked around pretty good over his five innings, allowing six runs on 10 hits.
The Mariners had scored 55 runs the past six games and won a couple of slugfests when needed. But with Saunders pretty much the only guy getting hits, there weren’t many opportunities for rallies.
Seattle’s best chance to score came in the seventh inning, when Saunders doubled after a two-out walk to Mike Carp. Brendan Ryan then skied a ball deep to left field, but it was hauled in by Trumbo to end the threat with the Mariners still down by five runs.
Beavan was still in a 2-1 game in the third inning when he had trouble putting the Angels away with two out. Maicer Izturis singled and then stole second base before Albert Pujols grounded a ball through the right side to make it 3-1.
Kendrys Morales then singled to send Pujols to third base. Trumbo followed with the fourth consecutive single by the Angels to score another run.
Trumbo later added an eighth-inning double off Mariners relief pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and finished 4 for 4 with four RBIs, tying for his career best. The two long balls also gave him the first multi-homer game of his career.
Iwakuma tossed the final three innings of the game without allowing a run. That work enabled the Mariners to spare the rest of the bullpen ahead of tonight’s start by Hector Noesi on short rest.
Saunders has been on a tear lately, going 9 for 16 (.563) in his last four games and 19 for 43 (.442) over his past dozen contests. He has two home runs and five doubles over his previous six games, vaulting his batting average to .268 and taking his on-base-plus-slugging percentage up to .798.