The Mariners finished a two-team, seven-game road trip on a low note, losing to Los Angeles 6-4 at Angel Stadium (box) Thursday night to split the four-game series with the Angels, who had lost 10 in a row prior to the series.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, with CF Mike Trout at first and 3B Yunel Escobar at second, DH Albert Pujols pulled a pitch from reliever Nick Vincent into left field for a two-run double. PH Jefry Marte singled off Vidal Nuno to score SS Andrelton Simmons for a four-run lead.
In the first inning, 2B Robinson Cano smashed a first-pitch offering to right center field for his 27th home run. It was his 10th first-pitch homer of the season.
DH Nelson hit his 31st homer of the year with a towering shot to left center in the sixth inning. In the ninth, C Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer, his seventh, off Angels closer Fernando Solas.
Starter Hisashi Iwakuma gave up three runs, two earned, off six hits and a walk in seven innings. Until a solo home run from Jett Bandy in the fifth, Iwakuma retired 11 consecutive batters.
“We just didn’t get the big hit with the runners in scoring position tonight. We had seven or eight opportunities, but didn’t come through.” – Mariners manager Scott Servais
Cano leads the majors with 40 first-pitch hits . . . Iwakuma’s 17 consecutive decisions is the longest active streak in the majors . . . The club record for consecutive decisions is 22 by Randy Johnson between April 11 and Aug. 21, 1992 . . . Iwakuma has thrown six or more innings in 14 of his last 17 outings.
The Mariners return to Safeco Field to begin a two-team, six-game home stand, with three against the Milwaukee Brewers starting Friday (7:10 p.m., ROOT Sports), when Wade LeBlanc (2-0, 4.68) will face off against fellow left-hander Brent Suter in his major league debut. Suter’s start will be the first by a lefty for the Brewers in almost two years.