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OC Register: Angels comeback comes up short in loss to Seattle Mariners


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  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488015_468204

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, left, catcher Jose Briceno, right, and first baseman Jefry Marte, center, have a discussion with starting pitcher Felix Pena during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. Pena did not last the first inning after facing nine batters. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488017_750750

    Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Jim Johnson works against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488019_430857

    Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales delivers to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488023_190726

    Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon, right, slides in to steal second as Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons takes the late throw during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488027_452918

    Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, left, pulls starting pitcher Felix Pena, with first baseman Jefry Marte watching during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. Pena did not last the first inning after facing nine batters. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488293_966430

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons turns two, stepping on second to force out Seattle Mariners’ Denard Span, then throwing to first to get Nelson Cruz during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488337_126038

    Seattle Mariners center fielder Mitch Haniger uses his body to stop a line drive bounce hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons for a single during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488439_793457

    Seattle Mariners’ Mitch Haniger is hit by a pitch during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488441_197435

    Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton, right, is congratulated by Mike Trout, left, with Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino looking on after Upton hit a two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488443_302901

    Los Angeles Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun sprints to catch a fly ball hit by Seattle Mariners’ Jean Seguraduring the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488495_168563

    Seattle Mariners left fielder Denard Span leaps at the fence to catch Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons RBI sacrifice fly ball, to score Justin Upton, during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Mariners-Angels-Baseball_26488497_259585

    Los Angeles Angels’ David Fletcher, right, scores without a throw to Seattle Mariners catcher Mike Zunino, left, on a single by Justin Upton, during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Sunday, July 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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ANAHEIM — Felix Peña left the Angels in a hole that would require an entire team effort to escape.

They almost made it.

Peña gave up seven runs before the Angels even came to bat on Sunday afternoon. They trailed by eight before eventually losing 8-5 to the Seattle Mariners, snapping their four-game winning streak.

Six Angels relievers — including one they certainly hoped not to have to use — combined to hold the Mariners to one run over the final 8-2/3 innings, after Peña recorded just one out.

Down 8-0 in the fifth, the Angels got on the board on a Justin Upton two-run homer. The Angels, who have the worst average in the majors against lefties, got nothing else in six innings against lefty Marco Gonzales.

In the seventh, though, Gonzales was gone. Upton and Albert Pujols drove in runs and then Andrelton Simmons was robbed by Denard Span of a three-run homer. Instead, it went for a sacrifice fly, pulling the Angels within 8-5.

But the Angels couldn’t finish the job. They came up empty in the eighth against Alex Colome and the ninth against Edwin Diaz.

The game was mostly lost because of Pena’s inability to continue the kind of work that led him to a 2.73 ERA in his first six big league starts after the Angels moved him from the bullpen. His last outing was his best, a six-inning performance in which he allowed two runs.

This time, he gave up back-to-back singles to Dee Gordon and Jean Segura, sandwiched around a stolen base, for the first run of the game. Span then dropped a hit just in front of diving Upton in left, for a double.

Nelson Cruz bounced a single up the middle. Mitch Haniger walked. After a Kyle Seager strikeout, Ryon Healy walked and Ben Gamel singled into right.

Mike Zunino, the Mariners’ ninth hitter of the inning, then doubled to left, knocking Peña out of the game with seven runs on the board. The last time an Angels starter allowed seven or more runs while getting one out or fewer was Joel Piñeiro in 2011.

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Peña’s poor performance left the Angels to maneuver 26 outs with a shorthanded bullpen. Of the seven relievers on the roster, two of them were most likely to be used only in an emergency.

Noé Ramírez threw 28 pitches in two innings on Saturday and Hansel Robles had pitched the previous two days.

That left Jim Johnson, Cam Bedrosian, Justin Anderson, José Álvarez and Blake Parker to figure out a way to get through the rest of the afternoon.

Johnson got seven outs while allowing one run. Bedrosian got four outs, Álvarez got three and Parker got four, leaving just Anderson with eight outs to go. He got five, before the Angels were left with no choice but to use Robles.

The Angels rarely use a reliever three days in a row. The last one who did it was Keynan Middleton in April. Middleton soon thereafter wound up on the disabled list with an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery.

More to come on this story.

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