Grant Green single hands M’s closer the loss
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Seattle Mariners’ major league-leading bullpen was spent after back-to-back games that went 16 and 12 innings.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon tried to get a five-out save from All-Star closer Fernando Rodney, but that plan didn’t work.
Rodney retired his first two batters before giving up the tying and winning runs in Seattle’s 6-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Grant Green hit a bases-loaded single with two outs after Albert Pujols tied it with an RBI double.
“Our bullpen is what it is today,” McClendon said. “We’ve had a lot of tough losses this year, so this is not one we’re going to dwell on.”
Rodney (1-4) was going for his 200th career save. But Mike Trout drew a leadoff walk and scored on Pujols’ 544th double, which broke a tie with Tony Gwynn for 28th place. When the three-time NL MVP pulled into second base, he mimicked the celebratory bow-and-arrow pantomime routine Rodney goes through after each save.
“That’s his thing,” Pujols said. “I’ve known Rodney for 15 years, so we go way back. Every time I see him, I tell him I’m going to do that to him if I get a big hit against him.”
Rodney did his bow-and-arrow number after Kole Calhoun flied out to the warning track in center field for the last out in the eighth.
“I did that for the fans, because when I came in, they booed me. It’s part of the game,” Rodney said after his third blown save in 30 chances this season. “I tried to get the save with five outs. They got me today, but tomorrow is another day.”
Rodney loaded the bases twice with intentional walks to Howie Kendrick and Efren Navarro. The first resulted in a double-play grounder by David Freese. The second set the stage for Green, who slapped a 1-2 pitch up the middle to score Josh Hamilton and gave the Angels their major league-leading 30th come-from-behind victory.
“It seems like all the pressure is on him. He had to get me out. I don’t have to do more than put the ball in play,” Green said. “Rodney woke up our dugout.”
“He did it at the wrong time with Trout, Pujols and Josh coming up. You don’t want to get those guys fired up.”
Rodney spent two seasons with the Angels, converting just 17 saves in 28 attempts from 2010-11. He signed with Tampa Bay and had a career-best 48 saves in 2012.
“Rodney is one of the game’s best,” Calhoun said. “He’s an All-Star and somebody that they’re expecting to go out there every time and get the job done. We’ve got one of the best offenses in the game, and we can put some runs up no matter who’s out there.”
Joe Thatcher (1-1) worked a scoreless inning for the Angels, who remained 1 1-2 games behind AL West-leading Oakland following their 13th victory in 14 games.
Seattle starter Chris Young allowed three runs and 10 hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He gave up back-to-back home runs to Calhoun and Trout in the third, tying the score 3-3, and the Angels won their 10th straight home series.
“It’s a very tough lineup,” Young said. “That lineup, to me, is as good as anybody we’ve seen. I was able to limit some of the damage, and give us a chance. I just wish I could’ve given up one less run.”
The Mariners staked Young to a 3-0 lead before he threw a pitch. Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs retired his first two batters before giving up five straight hits, including Kyle Seager’s 16th homer and RBI singles by Corey Hart and Dustin Ackley.
The Angels got one of the runs back in the bottom half on Hamilton’s two-out RBI double. They tied it in the second when Calhoun led off with a drive into the lower seats in the right field corner, and Trout followed with his 23rd homer.
“They came out and attacked fastball early, but he really found his slider and had a good feel for it,” Mariners catcher Mike Zunino said.
Skaggs was charged with five runs and eight hits in 6 2-3 innings and struck out five. Seattle scored two in the seventh on Zunino’s RBI double and Endy Chavez’s run-scoring single.
Mariners 2B Robinson Cano, second in the AL batting race at .335, sat out because of tightness and soreness in his hamstring. The five-time All-Star played all 28 innings the previous two nights. … Young has given up 18 homers, one fewer than David Price’s AL-worst total. … Trout, the All-Star game MVP, leads the majors with 57 extra-base hits.
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