SEATTLE (AP) Mike Trout had four hits and drove in three runs in Los Angeles’ 8-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night but it was not enough to keep the Angels in the playoff chase.
The Angels, with a high payroll and high expectations as the season started, were eliminated from the wild-card race after the Oakland Athletics’ 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday.
The Angels, carrying the fourth-highest payroll in the majors, had signed first baseman Albert Pujols to a 10-year, $254 million deal during the offseason then added left-hander C.J. Wilson for another $77.5 million. Those aggressive free-agent moves could earn the Angels (89-71) 90 victories but no postseason, even with one additional wild-card spot.
Wilson (13-10) went 6 1-3 innings for the victory. He allowed six hits and two runs, striking out seven and walking five.
Felix Hernandez (13-9), who did not win a game after Aug. 27 – going 0-4 with a 6.62 ERA – went 5 1-3 innings, allowing a season-high 12 hits and seven runs. He struck out seven and walked three.
The Angels jumped on Hernandez for three runs in the first inning. Trout, a home run shy of the cycle, doubled into the right-center gap. With one out, Pujols doubled high off the wall in center to drive in Trout.
Casper Wells got one back in the bottom of the inning with his ninth home run on a 1-0 pitch from Wilson.
Trout’s RBI single in the fourth scored Maicer Izturis from second.
Trout drove in two more runs in the sixth with a triple and came home on Torii Hunter‘s single to left.
Hernandez was trying for his third career sub-3.00 ERA season but the Angels’ sixth-inning, three-spot was enough to push the number to 3.03.
He finished with 223 strikeouts, currently third-highest in the AL and second-most in his career. It’s his fourth straight season with 200-plus strikeouts.
Notes: If Angels manager Mike Scioscia had an MVP vote he would no doubt pick Trout. Asked about the race he said, “for the top two, three guys there’s an incredible amount of evidence for anyone in that conversation to win. That’s the case this year.” He added that Trout “has the ability to do what he’s doing this year for a long time.” … Mariners CF Franklin Gutierrez is finishing the season the way he began, injured. Gutierrez, limited to 92 games last year because of stomach and oblique issues, has played in just 40 games this year because of a concussion, stomach and now groin issues. “If he has a chance to play another game, then we’ll get him in there,’ Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “If it doesn’t make any sense, then we won’t.”