ANAHEIM -- Now that's a rally. Trailing by six runs entering the bottom of the ninth, the Angels put together one of the wildest comebacks in franchise history, sending 11 men to the plate and scoring seven runs to overcome the Mariners, 10-9, and complete a three-game sweep on Sunday
ANAHEIM -- Now that's a rally. Trailing by six runs entering the bottom of the ninth, the Angels put together one of the wildest comebacks in franchise history, sending 11 men to the plate and scoring seven runs to overcome the Mariners, 10-9, and complete a three-game sweep on Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium.
Jose Pujols drove in three runs in the inning, a leadoff homer -- his first dinger of the season -- and a two-run single to tie the game with two outs, before Cliff Pennington drove in the winning run with a single to right to score Michael Trout.
"To come all the way back like that, that's one of those magical wins that probably only happen a few times a year," said Pennington, who delivered his sixth career walk-off hit. "It's a good one."
The Mariners went to Casey Fien to begin the ninth, and he allowed four batters to reach base before being relieved by Edwin Diaz. The Angels were able to keep the rally going against Seattle's closer for a rousing victory.
"They had some good at-bats," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "But when you've got a team like that down, you've got to squash 'em. You've got to take 'em out. And we didn't get it done today. We got some good things [done] offensively, but you have to get the final three outs and it didn't happen."
For the Mariners, the crushing defeat dropped them to 1-6 on their opening road trip and overshadowed a big day from Robinson Cano, who homered and drove in five runs. Cano smacked a three-run homer and contributed a two-run double. It was the first homer of the season for Cano, who had yet to drive in a run before Sunday's outburst.
Andrelton Simmons homered for the Angels, who were held to two hits in six innings against Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma. Simmons' solo shot in the second extended his hit streak to 12 games, dating back to last September. Kole Calhoun singled in the sixth for the only other hit off Iwakuma.
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Iwakuma pitched well for his second straight start, but again had nothing to show for it as he's 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA. The right-hander struck out two against three walks and never allowed more than one baserunner in any of his six innings.
Angels starter Matthew Shoemaker, facing the Mariners for the first time since being hit in the head by a Kyle Seager line drive in September, worked 4 1/3 innings and was charged with seven runs (six earned) on five hits. Shoemaker walked two, hit two batters and struck out one. He was forced to field a sharp comebacker in the second, but was able to get his glove up in front of his face to make a play on a 101-mph shot off the bat of Leonys Martin.
"It was unbelievable," Shoemaker said of the ninth-inning rally. "That was absolutely awesome. Those guys picked me up huge, made a really, really sour day turn out sweet. It's awesome."
Mitch Haniger crushed a solo shot to center in the seventh, the second homer in as many days for the Mariners rookie outfielder and his third of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The ninth inning: The last time the Mariners allowed seven runs in the ninth for a walk-off loss was April 10, 1998, at Boston. This was a collapse of historic proportions, as teams since 2011 had gone 2,529-1 when leading by six or more runs entering the ninth inning, according to ESPN Stats. Diaz couldn't locate his slider and the Angels sat on his upper-90s fastball to do much of the damage. However, Fien took the blame for opening the inning with a leadoff homer by Pujols and walks to Pennington and Ben Revere, sandwiched around a single by C.J. Cron.
"That was a tough one to swallow," said Fien. "Six-run lead in ninth inning, I'm supposed to come in and get outs and I couldn't get one. I put Eddie in a bad situation."
It was only a matter of time: After going six games without a homer from their Big Three of Cano, Nelson Cruz and Seager, the Mariners' offensive firepower finally arrived with Cano's three-run blast off Shoemaker in the third. Cano, who hit a career-high 39 homers last year, jumped on an 85-mph changeup in a 2-1 count and drove it 412 feet, per Statcast™, over the fence in center field.
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"There's no time limit in these games. They've got to get 27 outs. They didn't get the 27th one today." -- Pennington
"We've had some tough losses in the past, though I don't know if any this tough -- with how this road trip has gone. We needed to end it here on a positive note. But we will bounce back. Guys are anxious to get back home and get the ball rolling back in our favor again.
"We're better than we've played and it's everybody. It's not just one guy. We have to coach better and manage better. Everybody has to pick up their game." -- Servais
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Angels had lost their last 346 games when trailing by six or more runs entering the ninth.
Mariners: James Paxton gets the ball for Monday's 2:10 p.m. PT home opener against the Astros at Safeco Field. The Canadian lefty threw six scoreless innings with two hits in his season debut Wednesday in Houston, but took the no-decision in a game Seattle lost in 13 innings.
Angels: Following an off-day on Monday, the Angels open a three-game series with the Rangers on Tuesday at Angel Stadium. Tyler Skaggs is the scheduled starter. The left-hander allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings against the A's in his last start. First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. PT.
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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
@GregJohnsMLB]() and listen to his podcast.
**Austin Laymance** is a reporter for MLB.com.