Angels’ offense vanishes in loss to Mariners – Daily Bulletin

The Angels and Mariners followed similar paths to their first meeting of 2021 on Friday night. Both teams struggled to find their footing in the season’s first month, never falling more than one game below or climbing five games above .500.

What began as a predictably even matchup for the Angels snowballed into a 7-4 loss before an announced crowd of 8,632 at T-Mobile Park.

The Mariners (15-12) hit three solo home runs against Andrew Heaney, who needed 90 pitches to throw 3⅓ innings. But it was a series of smaller plays – two stolen bases by Seattle, two errors by the Angels (12-12), and one leaping catch at the fence – that made the biggest difference.

It didn’t help that the Angels couldn’t collect a hit between the third inning, when Shohei Ohtani hit his eighth home run of the season, and the ninth inning, when Mike Trout doubled and scored on a single by Jared Walsh.

Relievers Drew Steckenrider (2-1), Casey Sadler, and Anthony Misiewicz retired all 12 Angels they faced out of the bullpen.

“They made their pitches. They didn’t miss their spots. They executed, and that’s why they’re successful,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said.

Ohtani saw four changeups from Flexen in the first inning, ultimately flying out to left field. He saw two more changeups in his second plate appearance and crushed the latter 364 feet for a home run. That gave the Angels a 3-2 lead.

Heaney (1-2) came right back and issued full-count walks to Ty France and Kyle Seager to begin the bottom of the third inning. A single by Dylan Moore scored France with the tying run.

In the fourth, Tom Murphy got all of an 0-and-2 fastball from Heaney to put the Mariners ahead for good at 4-3. Of the three homers he allowed, Murphy’s gave Heaney the most regret.

“Oh-and-two, there’s no reason that should be anything in or near the strike zone,” Heaney said.

The left-hander had allowed three runs in his previous three starts combined. Friday, he allowed four runs on six hits, walked two batters and struck out five.

“I thought he made some good pitches,” Maddon said. (Mitch) Haniger’s home run, really a tough spot to do what he did with that pitch. (Dylan) Moore, the second one, really was a good pitch. They might not have had the same finish it normally does, but the numbers were the same. Andrew did not get the results he was looking for and they did hit some homers up and down the lineup. I thought it was confusing a bit, because he was making decent pitches.”

The Angels had a chance to knock out Mariners starter Flexen early, too. Albert Pujols missed a two-run home run by mere inches in the fourth inning, clobbering a fastball over the middle of the plate. But Mariners left fielder Sam Haggerty leaped to catch the ball at the top of the wall 382 feet from home plate.

With Junior Guerra on the mound in the sixth inning, Moore stole third base, then scored when catcher Kurt Suzuki threw the ball wide of third base. That was one of two errors the Angels committed in the field.

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