SEATTLE (AP) — Mike Trout looped a three-run double just inside the left-field line with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels cooled off the Seattle Mariners with a 6-3 victory on Thursday night.
Trout’s bases-clearing hit off Seattle closer Edwin Diaz (2-5) came after the Mariners staged a three-run rally of their own in the eighth inning to tie the game at 3-all. Diaz had major control problems in the ninth, walking three batters, including Cameron Maybin on a 3-2 pitch to bring Trout to the plate. The reigning MVP pulled a 1-1 breaking ball and just kept it fair.
The surging Mariners were coming off a 6-3 road trip to move into the second wild-card spot in the American League. Along with the ninth-inning problems, the Mariners saw ace James Paxton leave in the seventh inning with a strained left pectoral muscle.
Seattle used the long ball to rally in the eighth inning. Jean Segura hit his seventh home run of the season against Angels reliever Bud Norris, and the duo of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz continued to come through for the Mariners. Cano drove a two-out double into the left-center field gap off Norris (2-5) and Cruz followed with his 27th homer of the season and fifth in the past five games to pull Seattle even.
Cam Bedrosian pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
The Angels got a brilliant starting performance from Tyler Skaggs, who pitched shutout ball into the seventh. Skaggs allowed five hits and struck out five in his second start since coming off the disabled list.
C.J. Cron hit a solo homer in the second inning and Andrelton Simmons added a two-run shot in the fourth, both off of Paxton. It was the first homers allowed by Paxton since June 27 against Philadelphia and the first time he allowed multiple homers in a game since June 1, 2016.
Paxton had tied a franchise record by winning his previous seven starts dating to July 2, when he beat the Angels. But he was not sharp in his attempt at No. 8 and could be headed to the disabled list for the second time this season.
The latest injury to Paxton only adds to a season of setbacks among Seattle’s starting rotation. Drew Smyly never pitched for the Mariners this season. Hisashi Iwakuma has been out since early May with shoulder troubles, Felix Hernandez is in his second stint on the disabled list and Paxton could be joining him.
Paxton was pulled in the middle of an at-bat to Kole Calhoun. He appeared bothered on a 2-2 fastball, but threw two more pitches before he was lifted. Paxton threw 107 pitches.
The Angels recalled Jefry Marte from Triple-A Salt Lake and he was immediately inserted into the lineup at third base. Marte took the roster spot of RHP Troy Scribner, who was optioned after Wednesday’s game. Marte was 0 for 2 and was lifted as part of defensive changes in the sixth inning.
Mariners: OF Mitch Haniger took batting practice and did fielding drills in the outfield as he continues to recover from getting hit in the face late last month. Haniger could be sent out on a rehab assignment in the coming days. … Iwakuma is expected to throw an extended bullpen session on Friday.
Angels: JC Ramirez (10-10) will make his 23rd start of the season. Ramirez has lost two of his last three starts but pitched at least into the seventh inning in all three.
Mariners: Marco Gonzales (0-0) makes his second start since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma. Gonzales lasted four innings and gave up five runs in his first start with Seattle.
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