Mariners starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (right) waits with teammates to be pulled from the game in the fourth inning of a game against the Angels on Aug. 6, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Mariners starting pitcher Taijuan Walker (right) waits with teammates to be pulled from the game in the fourth inning of a game against the Angels on Aug. 6, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Walker’s start unravels in Mariners’ loss to Angels

After three strong innings, the pitcher can’t escape a jam in the fourth and Seattle falls 6-1.

By Lauren Smith / The News Tribune

SEATTLE — For three innings on a chilly Thursday afternoon at T-Mobile Park, it seemed Mariners starter Taijuan Walker was locked in for another quality performance after tossing seven shutout innings during Seattle’s home-opening win over the Oakland A’s last week.

He worked quickly and confidently through the Los Angeles Angels’ lineup, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced.

The only mistake was leaving up a splitter that Shohei Ohtani sent over the fence in left to give the Angels an early one-run lead.

“I went back and looked at it. It was just middle, middle away, on the plate still. Good hitter,” Walker said. “I mean, it was a mistake pitch, 1-0, his count. I need to get that down a little lower.”

But, everything unraveled for Walker in the fourth.

A leadoff single allowed to Mike Trout and two walks gave the Angels the bases loaded with no outs. Tommy La Stella poked a single to right to score a pair of runs. A sac fly from Max Stassi pushed across another.

Walker hit a batter and issued his third walk of the inning to load the bases for a second time before he was pulled. He threw just 69 pitches.

The Mariners never caught up in a 6-1 loss in the series finale, and dropped to 5-9 on the season.

Walker threw just 69 pitches days after pumping 94 in his win over Oakland, when he allowed a single hit and struck out eight.

“I feel like I kind of beat myself today, getting behind. Three walks in one inning, hit by pitch, that’s not going to get the job done,” Walker said. “But I felt good. I know what I did wrong. I know I can fix it and get ready for the next start.”

Rookie reliever Joey Gerber, who was promoted Wednesday, was impressive again in his second appearance in as many days.

The 23-year-old needed only one pitch to clean up Walker’s jam in the fourth, getting a grounder from David Fletcher to end the inning.

Daniel Vogelbach, the Mariners’ home run leader last season with 30, checked in with his first long ball of the year in the bottom half of the inning. But, his solo shot was the only run Seattle managed. The Mariners logged just four hits against Angels starter Dylan Bundy, who notched his first complete game of the season.

Gerber threw a scoreless fifth, and got to face Trout — and got him to ground out to short — after he was disappointed not to see him in his debut inning Wednesday.

Taylor Guilbeau and Dan Altavilla also tossed scoreless frames for Seattle in the sixth and seventh.

But, the Angels tacked on two more runs in the eighth to push the Mariners out of reach. La Stella opened the frame with a leadoff double against Nestor Cortes, and Stassi added the insurance three batters later by crushing a two-run homer to left to make it 6-1.

Roster moves

Prior to the game, the Mariners optioned RHP Bryan Shaw and IF/OF José Marmolejos to their alternate training site. All teams had to reduce their rosters from 30 players to 28 on Thursday.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Skyline’s Ryan Grace is swarmed by teammates after striking out a batter to complete a 10-inning complete game win against Jackson Wednesday, May 18, 2022, during a Class 4A matchup at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Jackson softball falls to Skyline in 10-inning bi-district marathon

The T-wolves lose a 3-2 extra-inning heartbreaker in the 4A District 1/2 semis, but still have 2 more chances to reach state.

Bonney Lake's James O'Callaghan stands dejected as Edmonds-Woodway's Victor Ibarra, far right, celebrates Edgar Cabrera’s goal in the second half Tuesday evening at Edmonds-Woodway High School in Edmonds, Washington on May 17, 2022. The Warriors won 3-1. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Edmonds-Woodway advances to state soccer round of 16

Forced into a 3A state play-in game, the Warriors put on a clinic in a 3-1 win over Bonney Lake.

White line on Green grass sport field for sport concept
Prep results for Wednesday, May 18

Prep results for Wednesday, May 18: (Note for coaches/Scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Mariners' Ty France hits a single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto on Wednesday, May 18, 2022. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)
France, Gonzales leads Mariners past Blue Jays

Seattle salvages the series with a 5-1 win.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox top Hops to snap 5-game skid

Everett and Hillsboro are cleared to play after Tuesday’s game was called off due to COVID protocols.

Community roundup: Locals named All-Conference in softball

Plus, Gillis firing for UP, Casto advances in U.S. open qualifying, and much more.

Cascade’s Abby Surowiec drives the ball against Arlington Tuesday, May 17, 2022, during a Class 3A District 1 matchup at the Phill Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Miraculous comeback: Cascade seals state berth with walk-off grand slam

Ashlyee Bloch hits the game-winner as the Bruins rally from a 10-run deficit to beat Arlington.

Edmonds-Woodway celebrates their win to advance in the state tournament against Gig Harbor Tuesday afternoon at Edmonds-Wooday High School in Edmonds, Washington on May 17, 2022. The Warriors won 2-1 in 8 innings. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Edmonds-Woodway baseball walks off in extras, advances to state regionals

The Warriors win on a walkoff sacrifice fly in the 8th inning to beat Gig Harbor 2-1 in a 3A state play-in round game.

Snohomish’s Skyla Bristol watches the ball fly after getting a hit against Everett Tuesday, May 17, 2022, during a Class 3A District 1 matchup at the Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish softball clinches state berth with win over Everett

The Panthers prevail to beat the Seagulls 15-14 in a back-and-forth district semifinal.

Most Read