ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Mariners jumped to an eight-run lead in the seventh inning and then promptly gave it all back to the Los Angeles Angels.
Seattle still pulled out an unlikely victory when Jay Bruce came up with the last big hit in a game chock-full of offensive excellence and regrettable pitching.
Bruce delivered a tiebreaking pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth, and the Mariners blew that enormous lead before rallying for an 11-10 victory Thursday night.
Ryon Healy homered twice and drove in five runs, and Omar Narvaez added a three-run shot as the Mariners snapped their six-game skid even after wasting a 10-2 lead heading to the bottom of the seventh.
“It’s not the way you draw it up, but they found a way,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “That seventh inning got crazy.”
Servais is understating it. Right after the Mariners scored three runs while batting around in the seventh, the Angels scored seven runs on seven hits while sending 11 men to the plate in the bottom half.
After the Mariners failed to score despite loading the bases with one out in the eighth, David Fletcher hit a tying homer leading off the bottom half for LA.
But the Mariners stranded two Angels in scoring position to end the eighth before rallying against Angels closer Cody Allen (0-1) for their ninth win in 10 road games this season, including six straight.
Mitch Haniger got a one-out single and scored on a bouncing single to left through the Angels’ defensive shift by Bruce, who had just gone 1 for 18 on Seattle’s winless six-game homestand.
“That was a marathon,” said Healy, who hit a three-run homer in the second and a two-run shot in the sixth. “Baseball really shows you every aspect of itself. That was fun.”
Kole Calhoun hit a two-run homer and Andrelton Simmons had three hits while driving in two runs for the Angels, who lost their fourth straight in heartbreaking fashion. Los Angeles’ six-game home winning streak also ended, interrupting the Halos’ best start to a season at home since 1982.
“It’s just as frustrating as when a guy hits it over the fence,” Allen said of Bruce’s modest RBI single. “Our (offense) threw us on their backs tonight and tried to pull us out of a deep hole.”
The Angels didn’t get back to Anaheim from Texas until 5 a.m. because of weather delays, and they weren’t required to report to the clubhouse until two hours before first pitch – yet they still pounded out 16 hits – three more than Seattle. Chris Stratton returned early from Arlington, but yielded seven hits and six runs in five-plus innings of another rough start.
“I hate that I squandered such a great offensive output that we had,” Stratton said. “The guys had a tough travel day, and to do that is really impressive.”
Narvaez connected in the seventh off reliever Jake Jewell to put the Mariners up 10-2, but the Angels dramatically rallied moments later.
Felix Hernandez gave up four runs while pitching into the seventh, but Peter Bourjos’ RBI double chased him. Calhoun then delivered a two-run shot, and run-scoring hits from Simmons, Albert Pujols and Tommy La Stella trimmed the lead to 10-9.
Fletcher tied it with the second homer of his big league career on the second pitch by Anthony Swarzak (2-0), who eventually struck out Brian Goodwin with two runners on to keep it tied.
Roenis Elias pitched the ninth for his third save.
Pujols drove in two runs, giving him 1,991 career RBIs. He is one RBI behind Babe Ruth for fifth place in baseball history.
Healy has history at Angel Stadium: Nearly a decade ago, he homered and also struck out seven on this field while leading Encino’s Crespi High School to victory in a state championship game.
King Felix’s bullpen couldn’t hang on to just his sixth victory at Angel Stadium in his 28th career start. That’s the most starts ever made by a visiting pitcher in Anaheim, passing Bert Blyleven’s 27. Hernandez also passed Hall of Famer Jack Morris for 37th place in baseball history with 2,480 strikeouts.
Mike Trout went 1 for 5 in his fourth straight game as the Angels’ designated hitter while returning to full health from a groin injury. He hopes to play center field this weekend.
Angels: Shohei Ohtani will join his teammates for the first time in batting practice before Friday’s game. Ohtani has been hitting on the field against a pitching machine for a week. The AL Rookie of the Year is likely to face live pitching next week.
Marco Gonzales (4-0, 3.19 ERA) looks to continue his strong start to the season for Seattle. The Angels counter with Felix Pena (0-1, 3.65), who hasn’t gone five innings in a start this season.
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