ANAHEIM -- Riding a season-high six-game winning streak, the Mariners had positioned themselves to continue that hot streak and keep pace in the American League Wild Card chase on Saturday night with lefty Tyler Anderson taking the mound.
But that opportunity came to a halt after a tumultuous third inning that saw the Mariners allow a season-high eight runs to the Angels, and Anderson was chased from his start after two-plus innings in Seattle’s 14-1 loss at Angel Stadium.
With the loss, the Mariners (85-70) fell three games back of the Wild Card-co-leading Yankees (88-67) and Red Sox (88-67), while the Blue Jays (86-69) sit a game ahead of the Marines as the first team on the outside looking in with seven games remaining in the regular season.
“Certainly not our night,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We've been playing outstanding baseball and a lot of close games, a ton of energy. I expanded on what we've been able to do, tonight it just wasn't happening.”
Coming into Saturday on their longest winning streak of the season during their final road trip of the season, Seattle appeared poised to continue that success with Anderson on the hill.
Anderson came into the contest with a 3.38 ERA in his 10 starts since being traded to the Mariners on July 28. He had limited opposing teams to three runs or fewer in all but one of his starts for Seattle.
But on Saturday, the lefty had his shortest outing since Sept. 17, 2020, while he was with the Giants.
Anderson surrendered two runs in the first, one in the second and was lifted from the ballgame with no outs in the third inning after six straight Angels reached base. In total, Anderson was tallied for nine hits and nine runs before giving way to the Mariners’ bullpen to piece together the game’s final seven frames.
“He had the same zip on his fastball I think that we've seen earlier,” Servais said of Anderson. “His last time out was probably the best we've seen him, and today just wasn't quite as sharp. You have to locate. And give the Angels credit, they came up very aggressive tonight.”
Servais pointed to Anderson’s changeup location as a difference against the Halos. Three of the seven runs Anderson was charged with came on changeups, including an RBI triple to Shohei Ohtani, a two-run homer to Luis Rengifo and an RBI single to Phil Gosselin.
“I think changeup location was probably the one thing that was just up. But other than that, I feel like they hit some pretty good pitches,” Anderson said. “There were pitches that were executed and some it just seemed like they found a hole today. They put a lot of balls in play, so that's not a good combination.”
With seven games left on the Mariners’ schedule and a three-game deficit in the Wild Card standings, Servais began to look ahead to Sunday’s finale against the Halos. A win would secure a 7-2 road trip and would bring the Mariners back within two games of the second AL Wild Card since the Yankees and Red Sox are set to square off in their series finale.
“All these games are important. We know that,” Servais said. “Just the game got away from us tonight. There's nothing we can do about this one. ... We have played awesome baseball [on the road trip]. I don't want to lose sight of that because we had a rough one tonight. It's one loss. It only counts as one loss. Unfortunately, at this time of year, those tend to mean a little bit more, but that's all we can do about it now.”