In a back-and-forth game, Seattle sees its three-game winning streak end and Los Angeles snaps a season-high 11-game skid.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — After being so good for so much of the Mariners’ recent push into postseason contention and the strong start to August, the Seattle bullpen was inevitably going to experience some level of regression. The cadre of relievers simply couldn’t keep putting up zero after zero. But the trouble all came at once Tuesday night at Angels Stadium.
Relievers Nick Vincent and Arquimedes Caminero each surrendered leads and the Mariners blew a winnable game in a 7-6 loss to the Angels, who snapped an 11-game losing streak. Seattle’s bullpen had allowed just six runs over its previous 431/3 innings.
“It was a crazy game tonight,” manager Scott Servais said. “Our bullpen has been so good through this stretch for us. But tonight, we just didn’t get it done. We left some pitches over the middle of the plate. I still thought we had enough to get it done in the end there.”
Caminero, who had yet to allow a run since being acquired by the Mariners (63-55), was brought in for the eighth inning to protect a 6-5 lead and hand the game to Edwin Diaz in the ninth.
Most Read Sports Stories
- The Seahawks can still become a Super Bowl contender, but their loss to the Ravens is alarming | Larry Stone
- In his return to Seattle, Ravens' Earl Thomas talks a little trash and picks up a win vs. Seahawks VIEW
- Washington's Pac-12 title chances have been dashed. So what do these Huskies have to play for?
- Report card: Grading the Seahawks' Week 7 loss at home vs. the Baltimore Ravens
- Lamar Jackson stars in the role of Russell Wilson and steals the show in Seahawks’ loss to Ravens | Matt Calkins
Instead, he gave it up with two outs, having already retired Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. Jefry Marte pulled a 97 mph fastball over the short wall in left field for a solo homer to tie the score at 6-6. Caminero gave up a single to Jett Bandy and then a triple to Cliff Pennington, a line drive that rattled around in the right-field corner. Nelson Cruz struggled to corral the ball and Bandy scored from first with the go-ahead run.
“Marte got a fastball right down the middle, and he took advantage of it,” Caminero said. “That’s going to happen. I was trying to go fastball away, and it went to the middle.
“It’s a battle, and I’m not going to win it every time. I would like to.”
The Mariners’ run of good play/luck and the Angels’ recent stretch of misery made for a bizarre top of the seventh that appeared to put Seattle in line for an improbable win.
J.C. Ramirez, a reliever for the Mariners in 2015 for about a month, helped the Angels have an inning befitting a team that was in the midst of a record-setting losing streak for the franchise.
Given a 6-5 lead, the Angels gave it right back. Robinson Cano’s routine grounder to second base to start the inning was misplayed by Pennington for an error. Ramirez then walked Cruz. While facing Kyle Seager, Ramirez uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners up a base and unleashed another one to allow Cano to sprint home to make it 5-5.
Seager then launched a ball into deep center that allowed Cruz to tag up and easily score from third for the go-ahead run and a 6-5 lead.
The Mariners had scored two runs without a hit, erasing some of the frustration of the bottom of the sixth, when the bullpen finally suffered its first significant blemish, squandering a 4-1 lead.
After starter Ariel Miranda walked Kole Calhoun and Trout to start the sixth inning, Servais called on right-hander Nick Vincent to face Albert Pujols and the slew of right-handed hitters that could follow.
Vincent came into the game with right-handers batting .191 (18 for 94) with a .587 on-base slugging percentage against him. But he had allowed four homers to right-handers. That number went up a couple. Trying to go down and away, Vincent left a 1-2 fastball over the middle that Pujols cranked over the wall in left-center to tie the score at 4-4. It was the 582nd homer of his career.
“He’s not going to miss that pitch,” Vincent said. “Not many guys are going to miss pitches right over the plate going toward them.”
Two batters later, Bandy yanked a high fly ball down the left-field line that bonked off the foul pole for a solo homer and a 5-4 lead.
“Tonight I just couldn’t locate my fastball down and away at all,” Vincent said. “I tried to make an adjustment. I had to move to the other side of the rubber. That was the only way I could get it down and away.”
Vincent met with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre postgame and planned to look at video to see any mechanical flaws.
“Usually I can do it pretty well,” Vincent said. “Tonight, it was nonexistent. Bad pitches. There were a lot of bad pitches that whole inning. That stuff is going to get hit. So I have to be better than that.”
Miranda found himself in some trouble early in his start, walking Yunel Escobar — the first hitter of the game — and serving up a double to Calhoun. With runners on second and third and no outs, he went into damage control. He gave up a run on Trout’s sacrifice fly to center but avoided major disaster. He retired Pujols and Marte without allowing another run.