The Angels’ Kole Calhoun (left) slides by to score as Mariners catcher Mike Zunino catches the ball during the eighth inning of a game Sept. 29, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

The Angels’ Kole Calhoun (left) slides by to score as Mariners catcher Mike Zunino catches the ball during the eighth inning of a game Sept. 29, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Valbuena, Trout lift Angels over Mariners 6-5

Nelson Cruz hits his 39th home run of the season in Seattle’s loss.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — What’s one more heartbreak for the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium as they wind down their disappointing season? This one didn’t match the April 9 collapse when they blew a six-run lead in the ninth inning.

But it was close enough.

The Los Angeles Angels rallied for four runs in the eighth inning Friday night against three Mariners relievers for a stunning (if not particularly surprising) 6-5 victory at Angel Stadium.

This one offered a second-guesser’s delight, particularly in the decision by manager Scott Servais to start the eighth inning with Nick Vincent.

While Vincent has been the Mariners’ primary setup reliever all season and sported a 1.87 ERA as recently as Sept. 3, he’s pitched the last four weeks like a man who is simply gassed.

Vincent had allowed eight runs and 13 hits over 6 1/3 innings in his previous eight outings. Worse, he’s been tormented all season by the Angels for seven runs and 12 hits over just five innings in six appearances.

Servais called on Vincent anyway.

“He has been our eighth-inning guy all year,” Servais said. “He’s running on fumes. We know that. But where we’re at in the ballgame, we wanted to give him chance to go out there and knock it down.”

It was a disaster.

Vincent served up a first-pitch homer to Mike Trout. It was Trout’s second homer of the game, his 33rd of the season and the 201st of his career. He has 26 career homers against the Mariners, which is his highest total against any opponent.

Vincent’s troubles deepened when Albert Pujols blooped a one-out double to right, and Pujols scored when C.J. Cron pulled a two-out single through the left side.

Servais replaced Vincent at that point with Marc Rzepczynski to get a left-on-left matchup against Kole Calhoun. After pinch-runner Eric Young stole second base, Calhoun reached on an infield single. Young moved to third.

That brought Edwin Diaz into the game.

Pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena blooped a two-run double to right on an 0-2 fastball, and the Angels had the lead.

“It was up and in,” Diaz said. “I don’t know how he hit it. I have to tip my cap to him.”

Ex-Mariner Blake Parker closed out LA’s victory by pitching a one-two-three ninth and ended the game by striking out Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz.

“We just couldn’t put them away,” Servais said. “We had two strikes on Cron. We had two strikes on Calhoun. We had two strikes on Valbuena. You’ve got to give those guys credit. They got the balls in play. They hit them in good spots.”

Vincent’s ERA now stands at 3.20 after being charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning, although the loss went the Rzepczynski (2-2). Diaz blew his fifth save in 38 opportunities.

“We’ve used (Vincent) a lot,” catcher Mike Zunino said. “He’s a guy who is going to take the ball no matter what. That’s what everyone really respects out of him. He’s filled a big gap for us this year.

“Hopefully, he gets one more opportunity to go out there and throw a clean inning.”

Trout opened the scoring by crushing a 2-1 changeup from Mariners starter Marco Gonzales for a one-out homer in the first inning. It was a no-doubter: 420 feet onto the rock pile to the left of dead center field.

The Mariners struck back in the fourth inning when Cruz and Kyle Seager led off with back-to-back homers against Angels starter Tyler Skaggs. No. 39 for Cruz; No. 26 for Seager. Skaggs then struck out the next three batters.

Gonzales couldn’t follow it up with a shutdown inning.

Andrelton Simmons led off with a single and went to second when Gonzales walked Cron. Simmons moved to third on Calhoun’s fly to deep left and scored the tying run on Cliff Pennington’s sacrifice fly to center.

The Mariners answered by scoring once in the fifth inning and knocking Skaggs out of the game.

Jean Segura pulled a one-out single to left, stole second and scored on Robinson Cano’s two-out single for a 3-2 lead. Yusmeiro Petit replaced Skaggs and got the inning’s final out.

Gonzales didn’t return for the fifth, which denied him any chance to get the victory. In came Ryan Garton, who worked a scoreless inning before the Mariners struck again.

Seager started the sixth inning with a single to right before Zunino hit a two-run homer that boosted the lead to 5-2. It was Zunino’s 25th homer of the season.

It stayed that way until the eighth.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

The 2024 Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships and Nautique U.S. National Wakesurf Championships begin July 25 and conclude the 28, held at Lake Tye Park in Monroe. (Photo courtesy Katie Darrow, City of Monroe)
2 national sporting events to take place in Snohomish County this week

The USA Softball Western Nationals are in Everett and Lynnwood, and the Nautique WWA Wakeboard National and U.S. National Wakesurf championships are in Monroe.

Coco Gauff (USA) returns the ball against Nadia Podoroska (ARG) during a WTA match at the Miami Open tennis tournament, on Friday, March 22, 2024. (Pedro Portal / Tribune News Service)
Column: My storylines for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Part 2: The U.S. men’s and women’s soccer squads, world tennis players Nadal, Alcaraz, Djokovic, Svitolina and Gauff are my favorites to win medals.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws a pass in the second half, October 29, 2023, at Lumen Field. (John Kuntz / Tribune News Service)
How Ryan Grubb’s history of helping QBs can help Seahawks and Geno Smith

Grubb, the former UW offensive coordinator, also helped transform ex-Husky Jake Haener from a Power Five transfer into an All-Mountain West performer and draft pick.

Rory McIlroy hits from the fairway on second hole at the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Augusta, Ga. (Hyosub Shin / Tribune News Service)
Column: My storylines for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympic Games

Part 1: The U.S. men’s and women’s basketball squads, world golf players Scheffler, Schauffele and McIlroy are my favorites to win medals.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba catches the game-winning touchdown pass as Eagles cornerback James Bradberry defends in the fourth quarter on Dec. 18. (Yong Kim / Tribune News Service)
Five things as Seahawks open first training camp of Mike Macdonald era | Analysis

The first day to evaluate the 90 campers begins Wednesday.

Lakeside’s Addie Streidl hits the ball during the girls gold doubles championship match at the Snohomish Summer Smash at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington on Sunday, July 21, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Wesco tennis players crowned champions at 2024 Snohomish Summer Smash

Shorewood’s Carlota Garibay Romero and Archbishop Murphy’s Cole Balen highlight the weekend with singles and doubles titles.

Boys Snohomish Little League 8-10 coach Aaron Barstad (kneeling) talks to the outfield during practice at the Snohomish Little League Complex in Snohomish, Washington on Thursday, July 18, 2024. Barstad’s team claimed the Washington District 1 Little League title, securing a spot in the 2024 Washington State 8-10 Baseball tournament held July 20-27 at the North Kitsap League Complex in Poulsbo, Washington. (Taras McCurdie / The Herald)
Baseball history in the making: Snohomish Little League 10U boys team is state bound

The 2024 District 1 champions became the first Snohomish boys team to advance.

Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes catches a pop fly in foul territory during Friday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians. (Jefferee Woo / Tribune News Service)
Ranking the best Mariners trade targets as deadline nears

Seattle needs to fill the offensive gap by July 30.

Matt Calkins: Forget the slow start, the Sounders are showing they’re title contenders

Seattle’s 2-0 win over St. Louis City FC launched it into sixth place in the Western Conference.

Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald talks with the media after practice at Under Armour Performance Center. The Seattle Seahawks hired Macdonald on January 31, 2024. (Kevin Richardson / Tribune News Service)
Seattle Seahawks roster breakdown: One thought on Geno Smith and every position group

The next phase of Mike Macdonald’s debut season as head coach of… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.