AP NEWS

Mariners Log: Slumping M’s back in loss column in Angels home opener

April 9, 2017 GMT

MARINERS GO 1 for 7 WITH RISP AND MANAGE JUST FIVE HITS AND A WALK

What happened: A day after the Seattle Mariners finally put one in the win column, their offensive doldrums continued.

Kole Calhoun and Cameron Maybin homered and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Mariners 5-1 in Anaheim on Friday.

Mariners starter Yovani Gallardo went five innings and allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks, striking out four. The veteran tightroped his way against the Angels sluggers, but got next-to-no support in his effort.

Angels starter Jesse Chavez gave up one run on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. He had retired 11 in a row before allowing three straight singles in the sixth inning.

Line Outs

Gallardo got off to a bit of a rough start in the first, allowing a single to Yunel Escobar and a ground-rule double to Kole Calhoun. He got Mike Trout to fly to right which brought in a run, then got Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron to ground out. It could have been worse. Like, much worse.The water got hot again in the third with back-to-back singles by Martin Maldonado and Escobar with no outs. After Calhoun struck out Gallardo couldn’t find the plate with the first three pitches and they waived Trout to first to load ’em up with one down. Gallardo got a tailor-made double-play grounder to Kyle Seager, but with the runner coming into him he double-clutched and lost the ball, so a run scored and all hands were safe. Gallardo came back to strike out Cron and got Cameron Maybin to ground out to once again limit what could have been a big inning. He ended the third at 57 pitches.Meanwhile, through five innings Chavez dominated the M’s, allowing one hit and one walk with six strikeouts, tossing 73 pitches. This wasn’t former Cy Young winner Dallas Kuechel or young fireballer Lance McCullers. This was a journeyman No. 5 starter in every sense of the word dominating the M’s supposedly healthy bats.Another outfield-started double play in the fifth. Angels hit-and-run with Trout at first and Pujols at bat. Pujols’ soft liner to center was tracked down by Jarrod Dyson with a sliding grab, and Danny Valencia held the bag on Dyson’s slightly off-line throw up the line. Good play by all involvedThe Mariners made some noise in the sixth, putting runners on the corners – via two-out singles by Mitch Haniger and Robinson Cano. Nelson Cruz coaxed a ground ball to the left of shortstop Andrelton Simmons and it got through for an RBI single, the slugger’s second hit and first RBI of the season.The rally was snuffed by lefty reliever Jose Alvarez, who got Seager swinging on three pitches – all down and away. The Angels answered that run in the bottom half on a solo homer by Maybin to right center.Reliever Casey Fien had some bad luck – allowing a single to Escobar that bounced off both his legs – and did some bad pitching, serving up a meatball to Kole Calhoun, who dropped a homer into the second row in right off a slider that didn’t slide.

The Takeaway

A day after the Mariners finally get in the win column they go back to their doldrums in a fairly listless loss in the Angels home opener.

The M’s managed just five hits and one walk against Angels starter Jesse Chavez and four relievers, and Jean Segura is the only starter hitting over .200. There’s too much hitting talent to really be worried that it’s not going to come at some point, but slumping out of the gate for too long in a season you’re supposed to contend is a good way to get someone fired.

The Mariners aren’t at that point – yet. But they better get it going on the nine-game homestand starting on Monday or collars are going to start to get hot.

Tweet of the Day

Players of the Game

Hero: Yovani Gallardo. I guess? He held the Angels to three runs which ought to be good enough. And when he did give up runs the defense wasn’t the best behind him (see: Seager’s bobble).

Goat: Kyle Seager. His name won’t show here often, but the defensive miscue and an 0 for 4 night with a pair of strikeouts will land you in the goathouse.

Mariners Notes

Mariners are now 4 for 41 with runners in scoring position for the season…Dillon Overton made his season debut and pitched one scoreless inning, allowing a hit and striking out two.

Next Game

Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Angels on Saturday at 7:07 p.m. RHP Felix Hernandez (0-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 4.76 ERA)

What others are saying

The lack of offense was readily apparent last night, if you watched. Mike Zunino is still struggling to catch up to an average major league fastball and others are flailing away as well. The 5-1 defeat in the Angels’ home opener can’t be pinned completely on the pitching, though neither starter Yovani Gallardo nor the bullpen were lights out. … There are things to take away from this game. … Scott Servais seems to be getting a bit frustrated. … The Angels had a worse season than the M’s last year, and improvement isn’t expected. Especially if their best pitcher, Garrett Richards, can’t stay healthy.