ANAHEIM -- The Angels' bullpen flirted with a combined no-hitter on Tuesday, but the unit proved far more fallible in Thursday's series opener against the Mariners.Odrisamer Despaigne and Noe Ramirez were tagged for three runs apiece in the Angels' second bullpen game this week, leading to an 8-2 loss to
ANAHEIM -- The Angels' bullpen flirted with a combined no-hitter on Tuesday, but the unit proved far more fallible in Thursday's series opener against the Mariners.
Odrisamer Despaigne and Noe Ramirez were tagged for three runs apiece in the Angels' second bullpen game this week, leading to an 8-2 loss to the Mariners at Angel Stadium.
The Angels' offense didn't fare much better, mustering only four hits against Seattle right-hander Mike Leake, whose only run allowed over seven innings came on a solo home run to Justin Upton. Leake hadn't given up a run entering the seventh before Upton blasted his 27th home run of the season.
"We've seen [Leake] a lot," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't think he was doing anything different. We hit some balls hard, for sure. He did a good job when he got the lead. I think he continued to make pitches. He pitched into the game for them. He did a good job."
Jose Fernandez drove in the Halos' run by grounding into a fielder's choice with the bases loaded in the ninth, but Mariners reliever Chasen Bradford retired Taylor Ward to end the game, stranding runners on the corners.
Two days after using eight relievers to spin a two-hit shutout against the Rangers, the Angels opted to once again rely entirely on their bullpen against the Mariners, giving starters Matthew Shoemaker, Andrew Heaney and Jaime Barria an extra day of rest this weekend.
Despaigne earned the starting nod for the Angels, but he struggled to contain the Mariners' bats from the beginning. In the first, he yielded a leadoff double to Mitch Haniger, followed by a walk to Denard Span. Robinson Cano then bounced an RBI single up the middle to open the scoring. Span later scored on Ryon Healy's sacrifice fly to give the Mariners an early 2-0 lead.
Despaigne, who threw only 14 of his 30 pitches for strikes, was lifted after giving up back-to-back singles to Ben Gamel and Mike Zunino to start the second. He was replaced by Jim Johnson, who gave up another single to Dee Gordon that loaded the bases with no outs. Haniger drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to left field, but Johnson coaxed a flyout from Span and struck out Cano to minimize the damage.
"When you have a negative ball-strike ratio, you know that things aren't going your way," Scioscia said of Despaigne. "He just had trouble making pitches. Those guys got off to an early start."
Taylor Cole worked out of a bases-loaded jam in a scoreless third before handing it off to Ramirez, who gave up a three-run home run to Nelson Cruz that extended the Mariners' lead to 6-0 in the fourth. It was Cruz's 50th career home run against the Angels, second only to Alex Rodriguez (70).
Junichi Tazawa, Parker Bridwell and William McGuire combined to pitch the final 5 1/3 innings. Bridwell worked two scoreless frames in his first appearance since April 6.
"It was a great time," Bridwell said. "I think it was good for me to just get out there and feel the down slope and be in a stadium and in the environment. ... I was just hopeful for an opportunity, and obviously, I'm humbled and thankful for this one again."
Bridwell went 10-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 2017, but he spent most of this season in the Minors after developing elbow trouble that required arthroscopic surgery in July.
"It's an important step for Parker," Scioscia said. "He's had a rough year trying to duplicate what he did last year, when he threw the ball really well for us. He just was never in sync and had a little trouble with his arm. It was good to see him out there."
With his first-inning double off Leake, Michael Trout collected his 14th extra-base hit of the season against the Mariners, passing Vladimir Guerrero (2005) for the most extra-base hits in a single season against Seattle in franchise history. Trout, who added another double in the ninth, has reached base safely in 13 of his last 15 games and is batting .375 (18-for-48) with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs and 13 walks over that span.
Right-hander Matthew Shoemaker (2-0, 3.45 ERA) will take the mound for the Angels on Friday as they continue their four-game series with the Mariners at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. It will be Shoemaker's first home start since June 14, 2017. In 14 career games (12 starts) against the Mariners, Shoemaker is 4-4 with a 4.33 ERA. The Mariners plan to counter with a bullpen game.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.