Rodney, Mariners unable to hold lead in rubber match
Closer comes up short in bid for five-out save against Angels
ANAHEIM -- Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, needing to get five outs to record career save No. 200, misfired on a couple of counts Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium.
He came up short when Grant Green's two-out RBI single scored Josh Hamilton and capped a two-run Angels rally in the bottom the ninth inning that gave them a 6-5 victory.
"They got me, it happens," Rodney said.
The Angels were also apparently motivated when Rodney deployed his game-ending trademark of shooting an arrow -- after the eighth inning.
"That was for the fans, because they booed me," said Rodney, who pitched for the Angels from 2010-11 and is far from beloved in Anaheim. "It's part of the game."
He said he was unaware that Albert Pujols mimicked shooting an arrow at second base after his game-tying double in the ninth, or that Mike Trout, who had walked on five pitches to open the inning, did the same thing when he scored that run.
"I didn't see that," Rodney said. "I'll have to check the film. They must've got emotional."
Pujols said: "I've known him for 15 years. Every time I see him, I tell him I'm going to do [the arrow pose] to him. I think he thought it was the last inning because on the board it said ninth. I did it to our dugout, not to Fernando."
The Mariners bullpen had pitched in 14 of the 28 innings played by the two teams the past two nights, which was the main reason Rodney had to try and get five outs. Yoervis Medina, who pitched in all three games, gave up a run in the seventh as the Angels cut the lead to 5-4. It was the first run Medina had allowed in 21 appearances. Joe Beimel, who also pitched in all three games, got one out in the eighth before Rodney -- who had converted 16 consecutive saves -- was summoned.
"Our bullpen today was what it was," manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We've had a lot of tough losses this year, so this is certainly one we're not going to dwell on.
"I was extremely proud about the way we came out and went about our business today. We were playing probably the best team in baseball, and we came within three outs of taking two of three."
Mariners starter Chris Young needed to get as deep into the game as possible. He gave up 10 hits, all in the first five innings, but lasted through six on 99 pitches -- thanks in large part to issuing no walks.
Young struck out seven, just one below his season high (July 2, at the Astros).
"That was a very gutty performance," McClendon said. "He didn't have his best stuff, but he hung in there and gave us a chance to win."
Young, who gave up back-to-back homers in the third to Kole Calhoun and Trout, said, "It's a very tough lineup. That lineup, to me, is as good as anybody we've seen. I was able to limit some of the damage, and give us a chance. I just wish I could've given up one less run. And, if I could've given up one less run, maybe I could've pitched one more inning."
Mike Zunino, snapping a 0-for-25 streak, doubled to left-center in the seventh off Angels starter Tyler Skaggs to score pinch-runner James Jones from second and give the Mariners a 4-3 lead. Endy Chavez made it 5-3 with a two-out RBI single that chased Skaggs.
"I was just trying to get a good at-bat," Zunino said. "I was able to get a good fastball, and put a good swing on it."
The Mariners catcher also suggested Rodney might've been confused as to what inning it was when he did his arrow routine.
"After all we've been through the past two nights [16- and 12-inning games], I was a little confused," Zunino said.
Pujols said the Mariners "have probably the best bullpen in the league, right there with Kansas City. They have a great ballclub. We struggled the first couple of days coming out of the break scoring some runs. We're playing great right now."