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Originally published April 26, 2013 at 11:39 PM | Page modified April 27, 2013 at 9:05 PM

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Whiffs, missed opportunities pile up for Mariners in 6-3 loss to Angels

The Mariners, looking to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season, battled from behind all game Friday but ultimately...

Times staff reporter

Saturday

L.A. Angels @ Mariners, 6:10 p.m., ROOT

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The Mariners, looking to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season, battled from behind all game Friday but ultimately couldn't make their many chances count.

Seattle left 13 runners on base, struck out 11 times and starter Aaron Harang gave up five early runs — including a pair of two-run home runs — as the Mariners fell in frustrating fashion to the Los Angeles Angels, 6-3, at Safeco Field.

A four-game series started Thursday with a convincing 6-0 victory, but once again it didn't lead to another.

The Mariners are 1-8 this season after a win, having lost eight in a row.

The numbers weren't flattering, but the display of determination won over manager Eric Wedge.

"I'll tell you what, I love the way our guys fought tonight," Wedge said. "When you get down early like that, it can be easy for the game to get away from you. ... If your guys battle and fight like that, we're going to win a lot of ball games."

Wedge added there was "no doubt" Friday was a step forward for his team.

Playing in front of 31,543, the biggest crowd here since opening day, Seattle pulled to 5-3 in the sixth inning behind a sacrifice fly by Endy Chavez and a sacrifice bunt by Brendan Ryan.

The Angels extended the lead by a run in the seventh inning and the M's would've come back with one of their own were it not for a tremendous defensive play by Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick. With two outs and two on, Dustin Ackley smacked a ground ball, but Kendrick was able to knock it down and just throw out Justin Smoak at home.

"It was bang-bang," Smoak said. "He tagged me on the leg, but I thought my foot might've been in there."

Wedge, who didn't take issue with third-base coach Jeff Datz sending the runner, said umpire Scott Barry told him Smoak's front foot was raised over the plate on the tag.

The Mariners had two on with no outs in the eighth inning, but Jason Bay grounded into a double play and Kyle Seager struck out.

Seattle had one last chance in the ninth, aided by an error by Mike Trout that allowed Kendrys Morales to get to second. Smoak earned a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate, but catcher Kelly Shoppach popped out and Ackley grounded out to third to end the game.

The Mariners went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

Trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Seager started what could have been a promising inning with a sharp single to center, which extended his league-leading hitting streak to 15 games. Seattle got the bases loaded with no outs, but only managed one run when Shoppach was hit by a pitch.

Seattle got three runners on again in the sixth inning with one out, but Michael Morse popped out to second and Smoak followed with a strikeout.

L.A. starter C.J. Wilson improved to 2-0 after giving up three runs in 5-1/3 innings.

The Angels (9-13) opened the scoring in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Albert Pujols to deep center field. Los Angeles went up 3-0 in the second inning on a two-run home run to right by Hank Conger. And the advantage jumped to 5-0 in the third when Mark Trumbo blasted a two-run homer to center.

The Mariners only allowed one run the rest of the way, fueled by the three-plus innings of strong relief from Hector Noesi.

Harang (0-3) saw his earned-run average increase from 10.24 to 11.37.

Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or jmayers@seattletimes.com

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