By Pete Zarustica
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim the first and ninth innings Wednesday night, but it was the innings in between that mattered. Two early runs and a late rally weren’t enough as the team lost 4-3 to the Seattle Mariners at the Big A, suffering their 12th loss in 13 games.
Yunel Escobar had five hits, drove in one run and scored another, but the Halos could only squeeze three runs out of 14 hits and three walks. As a team they were 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position as the record went to 50-70, a full 20 games under .500.
In the first inning, Albert Pujols singled in Escobar for a 1-0 lead, and then Kole Calhoun scored on Jefre Marty’s sacrifice fly. But that two-run lead only lasted a brief time as the Mariners tied it up in the top of the second.
The deciding runs came in the fourth on a sacrifice fly and a bunt single to put the Mariners up 4-2. Tyler Skaggs (1-2) was yanked after 3.1 innings in which he gave up six hits, four runs and two bases on balls. He struck out five batters and was tagged with the loss.
“We got a lead, but Tyler couldn’t make pitches to keep it,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Tyler had trouble repeating pitches. It’s the big leagues, it’s performance-based, and 82 pitches in 3 1/3 innings is not going to cut it.”
In the bottom of the ninth, the Angels offense came to life a bit as Escobar singled in Cliff Pennington. They were able to load the bases but Andrelton Simmons’ line drive was snagged by Kyle Seager to end the game.
The series continues Thursday with Matt Shoemaker (6-13) expected to make the start for the Orange County team.