Mariners sweep An­gels

Haniger hits walkoff home run as team loses more than just fourth straight game.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Jeff Miller


SEAT­TLE — They lost their start­ing pitcher, their short­stop and, ul­ti­mately, their fourth con­sec­u­tive game Wed­nes­day, the An­gels flee­ing the Pa­cific North­west with lit­tle more than their pride in­tact.

Bat­tered, al­most cer­tainly, but at least in­tact.

Un­able to hold a late tworun lead, they even­tu­ally fell dra­mat­i­cally to first-place Seat­tle 8-6 on a last-swing homer by Mitch Haniger off re­liever Oliver Drake.

“It was just one of those days where the bullpen was stretched a bit and we had to use them a lot,” man­ager Mike Scios­cia said. “We just couldn’t get it done at the end.”

Gar­rett Richards lasted only two in­nings be­fore de­part­ing with tight­ness in his left ham­string. An in­ning later, Zack Cozart de­parted with a strained left shoul­der.

Both play­ers tried to re­main op­ti­mistic after­ward but both also sounded wary, hardly sur­pris­ing given the An­gels’ re­cent run of in­juries.

Richards and Cozart will un­dergo tests Thurs­day be­fore ei­ther will know the sever­ity of their in­juries.

“Hope­fully, ev­ery­thing’s not as bad as it could be,” Richards said, “and I’ll be back out there as soon as

‘This kind of stuff af­fects your swing and ev­ery­thing there is about base­ball, re­ally.’ — Zack Cozart, An­gels’ short­stop on shoul­der in­jury


Said Cozart, “Hope­fully, I get good news and it’s just some inf lam­ma­tion or some­thing and we’ll go from there.”

The An­gels al­ready have 11 play­ers on the dis­abled list. In just the last two weeks, they’ve most notably lost Sho­hei Oh­tani, An­drel­ton Sim­mons, Kole Cal­houn and Je­fry Marte.

At the be­gin­ning of this trip, they also had a player — re­serve Kaleb Cowart — twist his an­kle walk­ing off a bus.

Richards had a 1-2-3 first in­ning, re­tir­ing the Mariners on 10 pitches. Af­ter get­ting Nel­son Cruz to fly out lead­ing off the sec­ond, his day quickly soured as the tight­ness wors­ened.

“It just felt like a big cramp,” Richards said. “No pop­ping. No sharp pains or any­thing. Just more un­com­fort­able than any­thing else.”

Af­ter the Cruz at-bat, the Mariners pro­duced three con­sec­u­tive sin­gles and a dou­ble to bring home their first two runs. Richards then re­tired An­drew Romine and Dee Gor­don to end the in­ning. His af­ter­noon, how­ever, also was over.

Sus­pi­cion that some­thing could be wrong with Richards started dur­ing the sec­ond be­cause of a dip — not quite 2 mph — in the ve­loc­ity of his fast­ball, even the slight­est de­par­ture from the norm a po­ten­tial red flag.

He said he first felt the tight­ness dur­ing his pre­vi­ous start, Fri­day in Min­nesota, al­though in the in­terim “it had got­ten pro­gres­sively bet­ter.” He said he didn’t ex­pe­ri­ence it again un­til he started pitch­ing Thurs­day.

“These things pop up ev­ery once in a while,” Richards said. “It’s a long sea­son.”

Cozart was in­jured in the third div­ing to field a ball that went for an in­field sin­gle for Haniger. He fin­ished the in­ning but then was lifted for a pinch-hit­ter lead­ing off the fourth.

He ex­plained that he once had a sim­i­lar in­jury that cost him “a few days.”

“My shoul­der kind of sep­a­rated or popped out a lit­tle bit when I hit the ground,” Cozart said. “I don’t like hav­ing any­thing like this be­cause this kind of stuff af­fects your swing and ev­ery­thing there is about base­ball, re­ally.”

Af­ter the two prom­i­nent ex­its, the An­gels fell be­hind 4-1, came back to take a 6-4 lead but were un­able to hold on as their strained bullpen sur­ren­dered six runs in 6 1⁄3 in­nings.

The three hours, 35 min­utes of fre­netic base­ball in­cluded some odd­i­ties. Among the high­lights:

Nolan Fon­tana home­red, leav­ing him two for 28 for his ca­reer with both hits be­ing solo home runs.

The Mariners in­ten­tion­ally walked Mike Trout twice, in­clud­ing once with the bases empty.

The An­gels used their saves leader — Blake Parker — in the sev­enth in­ning and he even­tu­ally gave up a ty­ing home run.

Now, the An­gels have to brace them­selves for more po­ten­tial losses from this lost game.

Ab­bie Parr Getty Im­ages

JABARI BLASH is thrown out at first base in the ninth in­ning en route to an­other loss by the An­gels to the Seat­tle Mariners at Safeco Field.

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