Kole Calhoun’s eighth-inning RBI single off Carson Smith, who just replaced starter Hisashi Iwakuma, lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-2 victory over the Mariners (74-82) Sunday and a sweep of their three-game series (box). The loss, fourth in a row, eliminated them from playoff contention for the 14th consecutive season, the longest drought in MLB.
The Mariners went ahead 1-0 on Jesus Montero’s RBI single in the fourth and tied the game 2-2 in the eighth on pinch hitter Mark Trumbo’s solo home run. In the mid-eighth, manager Lloyd McClendon removed starter Hisashi Iwakuma after he yielded a double to Johnny Giovotella. Smith immediately gave up Calhoun’s single to right for what proved to be the winning run.
The Mariners scratched out six hits, four off Angels starter Jered Weaver and only two for extra bases, Kyle Seager’s double and Trumbo’s homer, his 13th. The Mariners have 108 home runs on the road, most in the majors.
Given their paucity of base runners, the Mariners didn’t give themselves much of a chance with RISP, going 1-for-3. They stranded three. Robinson Cano went 1-for-4, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.Montero went 1-for-4 and is 7-for-16 with with five homers in his career against the Angels.
Iwakuma (9-5), who pitched well enough to win, allowed three runs on eight hits with only one strikeout, but no walks. He threw 90 pitches (21 first-pitch strikes to 28 batters faced) in 7.1 innings. He will make one more start. Smith (0.2 innings) was the only reliever.
he Mariners are 18-22-10 in series played and 27-27 in one-run games . . . Eighty-five of Seattle’s 156 games have been decided by two or fewer runs . . . The Mariners went 7-12 against the Angels this season, including 2-7 in Anaheim . . . With James Paxton temporarily shelved with a torn fingernail, Vidal Nuno will pitch Tuesday against Houston on three days’ rest. McClendon remains hopeful that Paxton can go Wednesday. If not, the Mariners will use an all-bullpen rotation.
The Mariners begin their final home stand (six games) Monday when they host the Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m. LHP Roenis Elias (5-8, 3.94) will throw opposite RHP Lance McCullers (5-7, 3.22). After a day off Thursday, the season concludes with three against the Oakland A’s.
Let’s go for 8 straight losses. It’s the only thing that will maintain interest at this point. Witness my lonely little blog entry.