SEATTLE — The Mariners deserved this 7-6 loss Friday night to the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field.
Yep, they earned it after throwing away a four-run lead in the late innings, which came after squandering a boatload of opportunities to take a sizable lead.
"We’re not going to be perfect all year," said reliever Joel Peralta, who allowed two runs in the eighth inning. "Definitely, we’re going to have to have a short memory."
Blame it on Friday the 13th, maybe. The Mariners are historically bad when the calendar comes up with one: Now 9-26 in their history.
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C.J. Cron delivered the game-winner on a two-run bloop single in the ninth inning against Steve Cishek after the Angels loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk.
"It’s tough to see that one fall in there," said Nathan Karns, who gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings. "If that’s how they beat us, that’s how they beat us."
The Mariners built a 5-1 lead through six innings. But the Angels got two in the seventh against Karns, although it was relievers Vidal Nuno and Nick Vincent who each permitted an inherited runner to score.
After Chris Iannetta’s homer made it 6-3 later in the seventh, Joel Peralta gave up two runs in the eighth. That meant Cishek (2-2) had no margin for error in the ninth.
But it wasn’t just the bullpen.
The lineup, while it produced six runs, was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners. It came back to haunt.
"We were in a good spot in that game," manager Scott Servais said. "We let it slip away."
Joe Smith (1-2) got the victory after stranding three runners in the eighth. Fernando Salas got his first save with a scoreless ninth.
It was just the eighth loss for the Mariners in 27 games, but it prevented them from padding their lead atop the American League West Division. They still lead second-place Texas by 1 1/2 games.
LA starter Nick Tropeano threw 104 pitches in five innings but limited the damage to two runs because the Mariners repeatedly let him off the hook.
Reliever Jose Alvarez didn’t have the same escapability in the sixth.
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out on singles by Iannetta and Leonys Martin. After Nori Aoki drew a walk, Ketel Marte yanked a three-run triple past a diving Kole Calhoun in right field.
The lead was 5-1.
The Angels answered by knocking out Karns in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out on three ground-ball singles, which also turned over the lineup.
Nuno replaced Karns and gave up a sacrifice fly to Calhoun before the Mariners again went to the bullpen — for Vincent to face Mike Trout, who blooped an RBI double into right.
That made it 5-3 and put runners on second and third for Albert Pujols, who struck out on three pitches.
Iannetta got one run back later in the inning with a two-out homer against Greg Mahle, but Cron trimmed the lead back to one run with a one-out homer in the eighth against Peralta.
The Angels made it 6-5 on successive two-out doubles by Johnny Giavotella and Jefry Marte against Peralta before he ended the inning by retiring Gregorio Petit on a grounder to first.
You could see it coming.
The Mariners loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning, but Martin grounded out to second. It was worse in the third inning when they squandered Aoki’s misplayed leadoff triple.
And then…two of the three players who botched Aoki’s triple combined to put the Angels on top in the fourth inning. Trout drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Daniel Nava’s two-out single.
Nava’s single was the Angels’ first hit.
The Mariners loaded the bases again for Martin in the fourth, this time with one out by sandwiching two walks around a single. Martin tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center.
Nelson Cruz’s two-out homer in the fifth inning — a 387-foot drive to right-center field — gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead. It was Cruz’s 31st career homer against the Angels, his highest total against any opponent.
Karns worked around a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth by retiring Nava and Cron on fly balls before Marte’s bases-clearing triple in the bottom of the inning provided breathing space.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Nori Aoki led off the third inning with a gift triple. First, the fly ball landed between left fielder Daniel Nava and center fielder Mike Trout — when both appeared capable of catching it.
Aoki should have stayed at second but tried for third and should have been out — but Jefry Marte missed with a sweeping tag. It was scored a triple.
The Mariners couldn’t take advantage with their two-three-four hitters.
Ketel Marte grounded to short with the infield pulled in. Ex-Mariner Brendan Ryan made a nice stop and got the out at first. Robinson Cano fouled out to third, and Nelson Cruz grounded out to short.
PLUS: Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a double in the eighth inning…Chris Iannetta followed up his walk-off homer Wednesday against Tampa Bay by getting a single, a homer and two walks in four plate appearances…Kyle Seager had two doubles.
MINUS: Nori Aoki cost the Mariners an important insurance run in the eighth inning when he had to retreat to touch second base, after initially missing it, on Robinson Cano’s double to the center. Aoki ended the inning at third base.
STAT PACK: The Mariners are 9-26 in their history when playing on a Friday the 13th.
QUOTABLE: "Who let the dogs out," reliever Joel Peralta sang in a low voice. "I did." He wasn’t alone.
SHORT HOPS: The Angels recalled infielders Gregorio Petit and Jefry Marte from Triple-A Salt Lake prior to the game after designating right-hander Javy Guerra for assignment and placing infielder Cliff Pennington on the disabled list because of a hamstring injury.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners