Mariners again lack punch, swept by Angels
The Mariners remain winless since manager Eric Wedge returned Friday, losing their third in a row to the Angels, 7-1.
Seattle Times staff reporter
So much for welcoming manager Eric Wedge back with a bang – or a win, for that matter.
The Mariners capped a silent three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels with a 7-1 loss Sunday in front of 22,999. The numbers are striking and not in a good way: Just two runs in the three-game sweep and not many threatening chances beyond that.
“We’re not doing a very good job,” Wedge said. “Not a great re-entry for myself here. When you talk about our offense, we’re fouling off too many pitches we should be squaring up.”
The Mariners had just five hits and only two for extra bases on Sunday. Dustin Ackley provided the only relief with a solo home run, his second of the year. He also had Seattle’s only other extra-base hit with a double in the eighth inning.
In fact, the Mariners had only three extra-base hits over the course of the series
“We weren’t really giving our pitchers any chance to continue and relax and get into a groove,” Ackley said. “And that’s tough.”
Aaron Harang took the loss, falling to 5-11 this season. The bottom-line numbers aren’t good: He gave up nine hits and seven runs in 52 / 3 innings. Harang actually pitched better than that at times but couldn’t close the door when it mattered.
In the fourth inning, he got two quick ground outs but then gave up two doubles, a walk, a triple and a single that resulted in four runs – all with two outs. In the sixth, he got two quick fly outs but gave up a single, a triple and, finally, a two-run home run that ended Harang’s day.
“He’s a veteran guy,” Wedge said. “He has to be able to shut that down and get that final out. Just some bad misses in the middle ... both of those situations he was in position with one pitch to get through the inning. It was just that domino, which has been a problem of his.”
Harang gave up only one hit through the first 32 / 3 innings and struck out four batters, including Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Mark Trumbo in succession. But he started missing his spots, and the Angels jumped on his mistakes.
“Just bad pitch location,” Harang said. “I felt good. The strikeouts were up, and I was getting ahead of hitters. It was just a few bad pitches.”
Those bad pitches led to more than enough runs for Angels starter Jered Weaver. He allowed only three hits and struck out eight. The Mariners didn’t get more than one runner on base until the ninth, when they loaded the bases before Justin Smoak struck out to end the game.
Wedge said he isn’t pleased with Seattle’s approach at the plate since he returned to the dugout. The Mariners are missing too many hittable fastballs and chasing too many breaking pitches out of the strike zone.
Ackley, though, was one of the few bright spots offensively with five hits in three games. He’s hitting .330 since the All-Star break. Wedge said Ackley is being more aggressive now and added, “You can start to see him get over the hump.”
Ackley also hit his first home run since May 4.
“I was telling someone when I came in, ‘That felt pretty weird actually jogging around the bases,’ ” Ackley said. “I haven’t done that for a while.”
• Wedge said he hopes to get injured catcher Mike Zunino back the middle of next week. “He’s on the path,” Wedge said.
• Nick Franklin returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Tuesday, when a gash on his knee required five stitches. Franklin pinch-hit in Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Angels and drove in Seattle’s only run with a ground out to third. “Seeing how that’s the only run we’ve scored in my two days back,” Wedge said jokingly, “that’s the biggest move we’ve made so far.” Franklin struck out three times Sunday.
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com