Angels frustrated after latest loss to Mariners
SEATTLE -- The Los Angeles Angels’ frustrating trip to Seattle was about more than just not being able to make up ground in the wild-card race Saturday night.
Los Angeles left-hander Andrew Heaney, who was making his fifth start since undergoing Tommy John surgery in July 2016, had to leave in the third inning of the Angels’ 8-1 loss to the Mariners because of tightness on the back side of his throwing shoulder.
“It’s just extremely frustrating,” Heaney said after giving up two runs and four hits over 2 1/3 innings.
Heaney’s latest setback was only part of the frustration for the Angels. The loss left Los Angeles (72-70) on a three-game losing streak and still two games behind Minnesota in the American League wild card standings.
Nelson Cruz’s 32nd home run of the season and another strong outing from Andrew Albers led the Mariners as Seattle continues to cling to hope of a wild-card berth.
Cruz hit a three-run homer that gave the Mariners (71-71) an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning, while Albers threw six shutout innings. Seattle moved to within three games of Minnesota.
“It’s pretty fun right now, getting to be a part of this group and getting to be a part of this wild-card race,” Albers said. “I can’t really explain it right now, but it’s really fun.”
Albers (4-1) allowed only five hits while earning his second straight victory. He has allowed one run over 12 innings during that span.
“He was outstanding,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I can’t say enough about what he’s done since he’s come in here.”
Seattle’s Robinson Cano had three hits, including two doubles, and a pair of RBIs. Mitch Haniger went 3-for-4 while coming a double short of hitting for the cycle on a night when Seattle piled up 11 hits.
Los Angeles avoided the shutout when late-inning replacement Eric Young Jr. hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning.
Cruz’s three-run homer and a pair of RBIs from Cano led the Mariners to an 8-0 lead through the first four innings. Cano had an RBI double in the third and added an RBI single in the six-run fourth before Cruz homered.
Heaney, who came off the 60-day disabled list three weeks ago, had to come out of the game because of discomfort in his throwing shoulder in the third inning. He threw his 60th pitch with one out in the third, drawing a 2-1 count on Seattle’s Kyle Seager, when he started pacing the mound in obvious discomfort.
Manager Mike Scioscia and a team trainer came out to check on Heaney, who eventually handed over the ball and walked to the dugout.
Heaney said he tried to argue his way to stay in the game and added that he was “not very concerned” about the injury.
Scioscia wasn’t ready to make any predictions about whether Heaney will be available for his next scheduled start.
“We’ll see how it sets up,” he said. “Obviously, you’re concerned whenever a pitcher has to come out of a game.”
In the fourth, Scioscia got thrown out for engaging home plate umpire David Rackley in an argument during a visit to the mound. Scioscia gave Rackley a few more choice words before leaving the field.
“Dave’s a good umpire, but there were a couple pitches, obviously, we didn’t believe in,” Scioscia said.
Haniger had a hand in Seattle’s first two runs on the way to a 2-0 lead by hitting his 11th homer of the season in the first inning and scoring on Cano’s double in the third.
It was Cano’s 30th double of the season, giving him 13 consecutive seasons with at least 30 doubles. Cano and Hall of Famer Stan Musial are the only two players in major league history to record 13 straight seasons of 30 doubles or more.
NOTES: Seattle starters Felix Hernandez, James Paxton and Hisashi Iwakuma all threw simulated games at Safeco Field during the Angels series. Manager Scott Servais said he hopes to get Hernandez and Paxton back in time for the upcoming seven-game road trip, while Iwakuma’s return still appears to be a long shot. ... Seattle OF Jacob Hannemann made his major league debut in the sixth inning. Mariners C Mike Marjama, who made his debut Sept. 3, had his first plate appearance Saturday and flew out in the eighth. ... CF Mike Trout was among four starting position players who came out of the game in the sixth, with the Angels trailing 8-0.