The Angels’ Kole Calhoun watches his go-ahead two-run home run during the eighth inning of a game against the Mariners on June 1, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

The Angels’ Kole Calhoun watches his go-ahead two-run home run during the eighth inning of a game against the Mariners on June 1, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Encarnacion homers twice, M’s lose to Angels

Kole Calhoun’s homer in the 8th sends Seattle to a 6-3 defeat.

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  • Saturday, June 1, 2019 9:19pm
  • SportsMariners

By Ryan Divish / The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Roenis Elias whipped his head around only to watch something he didn’t want to see. The echoing sound off the bat and the sheer violence of the swing from Kole Calhoun and his cartoon-sized forearms should have been enough.

Even the announced crowd of 28,128 knew the outcome, letting out a collective gasp and groan immediately after the ball connected with Calhoun’s maple bat.

And yet, Elias couldn’t help it. He glared at the baseball-sized comet until it landed in the seats in right-center. His irritated gaze had no effect on its flight path or the inevitable outcome it would yield —yet another loss for the Seattle Mariners.

Elias’ failures in the eighth inning turned a tie game into an eventual 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on a gorgeous late-Saturday afternoon at T-Mobile Park.

The Mariners’ quest for back-to-back wins will have to start again. They are now 25-36 and sinking.

Calhoun’s 12th homer of the season broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning. And since he’d been relatively quiet by his standards for most of the game, Mike Trout hit a laser of a solo homer into the upper deck of left field off Chasen Bradford in the ninth inning.

For Elias, it was the fifth time in six outings where he’s allowed at least one run. He looked strong while pitching a mop-up inning Thursday, but his command issues, which have been a problem throughout his career, have arisen again. Over his past six outings and a total of 5 1/3 innings pitched, Elias has allowed eight runs (six earned) on a whopping 11 hits, including two homers.

“Ro was so good for us for a big chunk of April and May, and the last couple of weeks, he just hasn’t been the same,” manager Scott Servais said. “His changeup is his go-to pitch, but he’s struggled to get his curveball going and having other options against left-handed hitters.”

After Cesar Puello was able to beat out his soft infield ground ball off Brandon Brennan for a single, Servais brought in Elias to finish the rest of the inning. He immediately gave up a single to Tommy La Stella that moved the go-ahead run into scoring position. It appeared as though Elias would escape the situation when he got Jonathan Lucroy to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. But with two outs and Puello on third, Elias left a 3-2 fastball up over the middle of the plate. Left-on-left matchup or not, Calhoun wasn’t going to miss that pitch.

“He competes really well,” Servais said. “I thought he was going to get through it when he got the big double-play ball but he couldn’t get through Calhoun and it cost us.”

Seattle’s offense, which consisted of Edwin Encarnacion, couldn’t rally again. He hit a solo homer in the fourth inning and a two-run homer in the seventh —both off Angels starter Andrew Heaney to provide Seattle’s runs. Not bad for a guy who had an emergency root canal.

“It’s OK,” he said of the tooth. “It’s still sore, but I can still play. I’ve been feeling it the last couple of days, but the night before was the worst part. It’s still bothering me. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”

But he was one of the few Mariners to figure out Heaney, who pitched six innings, allowing the three runs on five hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts.

“Heaney threw the ball really well today,” Servais said. “We knew coming into the ballgame it was going to be a challenge against him. He’s deceptive. He’s got a lot of ride on the ball. He’s not the typical left-hander we’re used to seeing. Have to give him some credit. Eddie picked us up big time.”

The Mariners got an uneven start from Tommy Milone. The veteran left-hander pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. He wasn’t particularly efficient and didn’t have quite the command of his previous outings. But Milone still found a way to pitch into the fifth and keeping the damage to a minimum.

The first inning was a little shaky. Milone walked David Fletcher to start the inning and with two outs he served up a two-run homer to Albert Pujols.

“Early on, it took a little bit to get going,” Milone said. “It was a bit of a battle. After that first inning, I was able to settle down a little bit to make some better pitches.”

Pujols came into the game hitting .440 with (11 for 25) against Milone.

“Going down 1-0 on him and throwing a fastball up in the middle of the plate probably isn’t a good idea, especially to him,” Milone said. “Career-wise, he’s had me pretty good. So it’s not a surprise.”

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