The Wolfpack, the Mariners’ vaunted relief corps, spit back a fur ball Tuesday by blowing a pair of leads in a 7-6 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Archimedes Caminero gave up a pair a two-out runs in the eighth inning — after retiring Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. They were the first runs permitted by Caminero since he arrived in an Aug. 6 trade from Pittsburgh.
Cliff Pennington supplied the winning run with an RBI triple after Jefry Marte tied the game with a homer.
"It’s a battle, and I’m not always going to win it," Caminero said. "I just missed a few pitches. Marte got a fastball right down the middle, and he took advantage of that. Sometimes, that’s going to happen."
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Caminero’s slip came after Nick Vincent served up homers to Pujols and Jett Bandy while squandering a three-run lead in the sixth inning.
"Tonight, I just couldn’t locate my fastball down and away," Vincent said. "I tried to make adjustments when I got to Bandy, and I just couldn’t. Just a lot of bad pitches that whole inning.
"I got way with a lot, but I didn’t get away with a lot. I’ve got to be better than that."
The Mariners regained the lead after Vincent’s stumble by scoring two gift runs without a hit in the seventh inning against a old friend J.C. Ramirez. It just wasn’t enough.
"Our bullpen has been so good through this whole stretch," manager Scott Servais said. "Tonight, we just didn’t get it done. You’ve got to give (the Angels) credit. They’re on a tough slide, and they hung in there.
"I still thought we had enough to get it done at the end."
The Mariners entered the game with a 1.25 ERA from their bullpen over their previous 14 games. The loss was just their second in 11 games, but it allowed the Angels to break an 11-game losing streak.
Caminero (1-1) inherited a 6-5 lead to start the eighth inning. He struck out Trout and retired Pujols on a pop to second before things slipped away.
Marte turned around a 97-mph fastball for a homer to left that just stayed fair. It got worse when Bandy lined a single into left. Pennington followed with an RBI triple in the right-field corner.
The Angels led 7-6, and Fernando Salas closed out the victory with a scoreless ninth for his third save. Brett Oberholtzer (1-0) got the victory after pitching a scoreless eighth inning.
Mariners starter Ariel Miranda had a 4-1 lead when he started the sixth inning by walking Kole Calhoun and Trout on full-count pitches. That brought Vincent into the game.
Pujols rocked a 1-2 fastball for a three-run homer.
"He’s one of the best hitters in the game," Vincent said. "He’s not going to miss those pitches. Not many guys are going to miss pitches that are in the middle of the plate and going toward them. Just a bad overall night."
Not for long.
Bandy sent a full-count fastball with one out on a high drive to left that hit the foul pole, which makes it a fair ball — and a home run. The Angels led 5-4.
"That was supposed to be another fastball away," Vincent said, "and it ran into the middle. It’s just a frustrating night for me. Just an off-night. I couldn’t figure it out."
LA turned to Ramirez, who closed last season with the Mariners, to protect the lead in the seventh inning. It was as if the Mariners ordered room service.
First, Pennington booted Robinson Cano’s leadoff grounder to second for an error. Ramirez then walked Nelson Cruz on four pitches before throwing two wild pitches with Kyle Seager at the plate.
Cano scored, and Cruz moved to third.
Seager hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field, and the Mariners regained the lead at 6-5.
The just couldn’t hold it.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Ketel Marte’s two-out RBI bunt single was a thing of beauty in the second inning. He pushed the ball up the third-base line with runners at first and third.
Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin and third baseman Yunel Escobar had little choice but to let the ball roll in hopes that it would go foul. It stubbornly refused to do so.
Marte’s bunt single tied the game, and the Mariners added two more runs later in the inning.
PLUS: Nori Aoki reached four times in five plate appearances. He had two singles, a double and was hit by a pitch…the Mariners were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
MINUS: Nick Vincent gave up two homers in the sixth inning and allowed two inherited runners to score…Nori Aoki was thrown out stealing in the eighth inning after a replay challenge showed he came off the base. He has been thrown out nine time in 17 attempted steals.
STAT PACK: Hits might be overrated. The Angels scored four runs in the sixth inning on two hits (although both were home runs). The Mariners then scored two in the seventh without getting a hit.
QUOTABLE: Reliever Nick Vincent didn’t just shrug off his poor outing as something that occasionally happens. He met immediately after the game with pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr.
"I’ve got to look at video and nip it in the bud right now," Vincent said. "Tonight was a very off night for me."
SHORT HOPS: The Angels had two late scratches to their starting lineup. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons was given permission to attend to a personal matter, while catcher Geovany Soto had inflammation in his right knee. They were replaced by Cliff Pennington and Jett Bandy…the Mariners fell back under .500 in one-run games at 21-22.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners