The Mariners (34-41, eight games out of first in the AL West) botched prime scoring opportunities in the second, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings Saturday and lost to the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 (box score) in Anaheim. Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano was knocked out of action when an errant throw between the sixth and seventh innings nailed him in the forehead as he stood near the railing of the Seattle dugout.
After Daniel Robinson led off first with a single, Seattle starter J.A. Happ elevated a fastball that Kole Calhoun knocked over the fence in right field for a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners out-hit the Angels 8-6, but couldn’t convert with runners in scoring position, going a dreadful, predictable 1-for-10 in those situations. Mike Zunino, who entered with a .163 batting average, lowest in the AL among qualifiers, had two hits, a single in the sixth and his eighth home run in the eighth. Brad Miller delivered two hits, but rapped into a double play in the sixth with Kyle Seager on second.Dustin Ackley once again dipped below the Mendoza Line, his 0-for-3 (.199). In his first 18 games as a Mariner, Mark Trumbo is batting .159.
The Mariners first run came home in the sixth on a wild pitch, making it 2-1, but the Angels tacked on two more runs in the seventh on Johnny Giavotella’s RBI single and a Carlos Perez ground-ball out that scored a run.
Except for yielding the first-inning home run, Happ pitched well enough to win. He allowed four runs on five hits in seven innings with six strikeouts and two walks. The Mariners have scored six runs in Happ’s last five starts and three or fewer in 10 of his last 15.
The Mariners couldn’t solve Angels starter Garrett Richards, who allowed two hits in 7.2 innings and struck out six with one walk.
The errant throw that conked Cano during infield warmups around him in the forehead, causing a big welt. Removed from the game, was diagnosed with a head contusion, not a concussion, and is listed as day-to-day. He said afteward he was fine. Willie Bloomquist replaced him . . . The Mariners have dropped 18 of their last 32, are 31-35 against the American League, 8-12-4 in series played and 17-15 against the AL West . . . Forty-five of Seattle’s of 75 games have been decided by two or fewer runs . . . Seattle is 10-6 on the road since May 22 after opening the season 7-12 . . . RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, who threw a rehab start Thursday, will make another for AAA Tacoma Tuesday against Las Vegas at Cheney Stadium before a decision is made on his possible return to the Mariners.
The series concludes Sunday at 1:10 p.m. Felix Hernandez (10-4, 3.24) is seeking his 11th victory and will oppose LHP Hector Santiago (4-4, 2.68). The Mariners are off Monday and play the San Diego Padres in a two-game set beginning Tuesday.