The pummeling continued for the Seattle Mariners at Angels Stadium, and not in a good way. But, hey, at least the showers weren’t leaking sewage in the 47-year-old stadium.
Still, the 11-3 loss the Mariners endured against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night was just as big of a stinker as Oakland Coliseum’s sewage system.
Seattle pitchers were battered for 21 hits, including starter Aaron Harang getting knocked around for 12 of them. But only four of the Angels runs can be attributed to Harang. For all of his hits surrendered in his five innings of work, Harang still managed to limit some damage.
“They hit the ball, but he just bent and didn’t break,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “So that’s a start for him. It wasn’t a good start. But he was able to keep his team in the ball game. And that mean’s something.”
But his bullpen mates couldn’t do the same. Los Angeles hung seven runs on the combination of Carter Capps and Charlie Furbush in the sixth inning, and turned a 4-2 game into a laugher.
But this isn’t the first time Harang or the Mariners bullpen has been knocked around at Angels Stadium this season. On May 21, the Mariners, in the midst of what would be an eight-game losing streak, were routed 12-0 by the Angels. Harang made it just 3 2/3 of an inning giving up seven runs on nine hits. The Mariners would lose again the next day 7-1 in a game that wasn’t even that close.
In three games – two started by Harang and one started by Brandon Maurer - in Anaheim this season, Mariners’ pitchers have given up 30 runs on 48 hits with eight doubles, three triples and seven homers with six walks. That would be a .425 batting average (48-for-113) with a .463 on-base percentage and a .735 slugging percentage. Mariners’ pitchers have a 10.50 ERA in those three games.
Harang gave up hits in every inning. The Angels had three in the first inning, but Howie Kendrick’s double to right-center was only good enough to score Josh Hamilton for a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, Mike Trout plated a run on a sacrifice fly and then Josh Hamilton hit a two-run homer to center field that bounced out of the glove of Michael Saunders, who tried to make a leaping grab over the fence. The Mariners added two more hits in the inning, but didn’t get another run across.
The inning could have been significantly different with a little luck. With one out, Mariners shortstop Carlos Triunfel made a terrific stop on a ground ball hit up the middle by Peter Bourjos. Triunfel spun and fired a rocket to first. However, Michael Morse, who has only played in handful of games at first, came slightly off the bag to make the catch. The speedy Bourjos was ruled safe, and that helped the inning continue.
“It’s amazing what speed can do,” Harang said. “If that play goes differently, then I get the next guy to fly out. It’s totally different inning. It’s crazy how one little play can change the aspect of a game.”
Harang gave up four more hits over the next three innings, but no runs.
“I’ve faced a lot of those guys over the last few years and they know I’m going be aggressive and try to throw strikes and get ahead with my fastball,” Harang said. “After that second inning, we kind of had to flip things around and go off-speed pitches early and try to get ahead that way. That way we could keep them from sitting on the fastball.”
Wedge pulled him after five innings and 87 pitches.
“They had quite a few hits in a short period of time,” Wedge said. “We felt fortunate to get out of there with just four runs. He had to work hard every inning.”
The Mariners trimmed the lead to 4-2 in the top of the third inning with their lone offensive highlight. Endy Chavez came up with two-out bloop single and Nick Franklin followed with a two-run homer to left field off Angels starter Jason Vargas.
It was Franklin’s third homer of the season, and it was his first home run batting right-handed since 2011 with Double A Jackson.
“I’ve been impressed with him from the right-side early on,” Wedge said. “I like his batting practice. I like his approach. And he does have strength from both sides of the plate.”
But the 4-2 game didn’t stay close for long.
The Angles batted around in the sixth inning. Bourjos got things going with another infield hit to start the inning. From there it only got worse for Capps would just get one more out, while giving up a double to Albert Pujols and walking two batters. Furbush came in with the bases loaded and gave up a high chop to Aybar for an RBI infield hit and two more RBI singles. Bourjos kept the inning alive with second infield hit of the inning, and third of the game, and another run scored on Franklin’s throwing error on a Mike Trout ground ball.
“We had some tough luck, but they made their own breaks,” Wedge said. “They took advantage of their speed on a couple tricky plays in the infield. That was pretty much the end of it.”
Blessed with far better run support that he got with the Mariners, Vargas cruised through seven innings, giving up just the two runs on four hits with a walk and a season-high nine strikeouts.
“He did a great job with his fastball and change-up,” Wedge said. “He just does what he does.”