SEATTLE--Take away one frustrating inning for Roenis Elias, and he and the Seattle Mariners might have had a very different Tuesday night.
But a three-run second inning torpedoed the start for the rookie left-hander and his teammates couldn't mount a rally in a 6-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field.
Elias (3-4) gave up four doubles in the second inning, including three in a row to start the inning that put the Mariners in a 3-0 hole.
A three-run deficit is far from insurmountable for most major-league teams. But with Mariners' offense it just depends on the game. On this night, it was the so-so Seattle offense that has struggled to string together hits or come up with hits in key situations.
Facing Angels ace Jered Weaver didn't help matters. Using a fastball that never got above 87 mph, a curveball in the 60s and a change-up somewhere in the middle, Weaver pitched six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts to improve to 6-3. He has wins in five of his last six starts.
Seattle did its best to climb out of the early three-run hole. But every time the Mariners cut into the lead, the Angels would add another run for some cushion.
The Mariners cut into the 3-0 lead immediately in the bottom of the second. Dustin Ackley doubled to right off Weaver and scored on Nick Franklin's line single to right field.
The Angels pushed it to 4-1 in the top of the fourth. Elias loaded the bases with no outs on a single, a hit batter and sacrifice bunt that scooted by him for a hit. He was able to limit the damage, getting Howie Kendrick to hit into a double play. It did allow a run to score, but Elias was able to get Mike Trout to fly out to end the inning with just one run scored.
Down 4-1, the Mariners answered in the bottom of the fourth. Justin Smoak crushed a Weaver fastball, sending a line drive over the wall in right field for his seventh homer of the season. Seattle then loaded the bases and got another run when Weaver and catcher Chris Iannetta got mixed up on signs, resulting in a wild pitch that allowed Ackley to sprint home.
Elias couldn't quite keep the deficit to one run. He gave up a leadoff double to Collin Cowgill to start the seventh. After getting a groundout from Kendrick that allowed Cowgill to move to third, Elias was lifted for hard-throwing right-hander Dominic Leone, who had to face Trout. Leone got up 0-2, but couldn't get the much-needed strikeout. Instead Trout hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Cowgill.
The Angels pushed it to 6-3 in the eighth inning when C.J. Cron hit a towering home run into the Mariners' bullpen off of reliever Tom Wilhelmsen.
Seattle trimmed it to 6-4 on a two-out RBI single up the middle from Robinson Cano off of closer Ernesto Frieri. Smoak, who represented the tying run, drew a walk. But Kyle Seager, the winning run, flew out to left-center to end the game.
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