SEATTLE -- Despite another herculean effort from Michael Trout, the Angels lost their second straight game to the Mariners, 6-3, on Tuesday night at Safeco Field, slipping a season-high 6 1/2 games back of their division rivals in the American League West.After homering twice in Monday's series opener, Trout crushed
SEATTLE -- Despite another herculean effort from Michael Trout, the Angels lost their second straight game to the Mariners, 6-3, on Tuesday night at Safeco Field, slipping a season-high 6 1/2 games back of their division rivals in the American League West.
After homering twice in Monday's series opener, Trout crushed another pair of home runs on Tuesday to account for all three of the Angels' runs and secure back-to-back multihomer games for the first time in his career. Trout now leads the Majors with 23 home runs.
Trout's second home run of the night, a two-run shot off reliever Ryan Cook, cut the deficit to 4-3 in the seventh, but it still wasn't enough to topple the red-hot Mariners, who used two homers from both Mitch Haniger and Ryon Healy to cruise to their 10th win in their last 12 games.
"We're not swinging the bats as a team," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It puts our pitchers under a lot of pressure to make pitches. Any mistakes we made tonight, they hit out of the park, so give those guys a little bit of credit. But we're more than Mike, and one guy can't carry you. Mike is swinging the bat very well, but we need some of our other guys to start to get into their game."
Rookie Jaime Barria, who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday and is expected to fill the void in the Angels' rotation left by the injured Shohei Ohtani, was charged with the loss after yielding three runs (two earned) on eight hits over five innings in his first MLB start since June 1.
"I wasn't locating my pitches today," Barria said in Spanish. "I couldn't locate my fastball on the outside corner, so that was it, more than anything."
Barria entered Tuesday with a 2.48 ERA over his first seven starts for the Angels, but he wasn't as crisp against the Mariners. In the first inning, Barria surrendered a solo home run to Haniger, which gave Seattle a quick 1-0 lead. He faced more trouble in the second, allowing the Mariners to load the bases with one out, though he avoided damage by inducing a 6-4-3 inning-ending double play from David Freitas.
After Dee Gordon singled to lead off the third, Barria retired the next two batters he faced and then received an assist from Trout, who made an impressive leaping grab at the right-center-field fence to rob Nelson Cruz and record the final out of the inning.
Cruz's drive had an exit velocity of 105 mph and a launch angle of 31 degrees, a combination that resulted in home runs approximately 86 percent of the time from 2015-17, according to Statcast™. The ball had an overall hit probability of 88 percent.
"Incredible," Barria said. "He's a phenomenon. Every day he surprises us with his play."
The Angels, meanwhile, struggled to solve Seattle right-hander Mike Leake, who blanked them through four innings before Trout homered to tie the game, 1-1, in the fifth. Trout fell behind, 0-2, before golfing a low-and-away slider out to left-center field for his 22nd home run of the year.
"That's a good club over there," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "They have a pretty good player on their team, too. We saw it again tonight. He's really tough to pitch to. Some of the pitches hit tonight were kind of where you wanted to throw them and he still does damage."
The Mariners regained the lead after Haniger went deep for a second time off Barria in the fifth. After Freitas reached on catcher's interference, Haniger blasted a changeup to left-center field for a two-run homer that made it 3-1. Healy added a solo shot off Cam Bedrosian in the sixth to give the Mariners a three-run lead.
Trout's second homer brought the Angels within one in the seventh, but the club's bullpen couldn't hold off the Mariners, who received a pair of insurance runs on Jean Segura's RBI double and Healy's leadoff home run in the eighth.
The Angels have now lost three consecutive games following a six-game winning streak. Aside from Trout, the lineup mustered only three hits on Tuesday and has slowed after the injuries to Andrelton Simmons and Ohtani. Over their last three games, the Angels have hit just .148 (4-for-27) with runners in scoring position and have left 25 men on base.
"It's tough because we're playing good games," Trout said. "It just seems like we go through a good stretch and then have a couple bad games. But [the Mariners] are hitting the ball well and they're pitching good… We've just got to keep battling. It's a long season."
Trout now has 20 career home runs at Safeco Field, surpassing Mark Teixeira (19) for the most by a visiting player at the ballpark. He is batting .636 (14-for-22) with eight runs, three doubles, one triple, five home runs, eight RBIs, three walks and one stolen base against the Mariners this season.
"That guy has been unbelievable," Haniger said. "Unfortunately he's on the opposite team from us, but nothing but respect for what that guy can do."
Right-hander Garrett Richards (4-4, 3.26 ERA) will take the mound on Wednesday afternoon as the Angels and Mariners close out their three-game series at 1:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field. Richards will be opposed by Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (7-3, 3.28 ERA). Richards has pitched to a 2.09 ERA over his last seven starts, but the Angels have gone just 3-4 in those games. He is 6-4 with a 2.91 ERA in 19 career appearances (11 starts) against the Mariners. Wednesday's game will air exclusively on Facebook Watch.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.