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OC Register: Rough first inning costs Angels as they lose again


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    The Mariners’ Dee Gordon steals second base as Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons waits to take the throw during the sixth inning of Monday’s game in Seattle. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

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    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Chris Stratton throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 1, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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    Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 1, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout is hit by a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Monday, April 1, 2019, in Seattle. Trout remained in the game. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout reacts after being hit by a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Monday, April 1, 2019, in Seattle. Trout remained in the game. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

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    SEATTLE, WA – APRIL 01: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim reacts after being hit by a pitch thrown by Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at T-Mobile Park on April 1, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Lindsey Wasson/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE — The Angels moved their slow start to a new venue but the results were the same.

After losing three of four in the opening series in Oakland, the Angels lost 6-3 to the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

The Angels have only led after two of the 45 innings they’ve played.

Mostly the issue has been their offense, but in this game they actually had a steady stream of baserunners. They could not convert often enough to overcome a four-run first inning against Chris Stratton in his Angels debut and a two-run homer against Hansel Robles in the seventh.

It was Stratton’s first chance to show if his new team was able to get any more out of him than the San Francisco Giants, who traded him just before Opening Day.

Stratton’s exceptionally high spin rate was one of the reasons the Angels believed there was more there. He spun a few sharp curveballs, but he also missed with a few in the first inning. The big blow was Tim Beckham’s double that split the gap in left-center, driving in two.

After that rough start, though, Stratton settled down and gave the Angels a chance to win.

He allowed just one single and a walk over the next three innings, with one of the runners being erased on a double play. Stratton finally came out after allowing a pair of one-out singles in the fifth.

Both runners were stranded, so he was charged with just the four first-inning runs in his 82-pitch Angels debut. Stratton had only gotten up to 75 pitches with the Giants in spring training, so his limit was about 85 to 90, Manager Brad Ausmus said before the game.

While Stratton and then relievers Justin Anderson and Ty Buttrey held the Mariners at four runs, the Angels got back into the game.

Facing Felix Hernandez, who is trying to hang on to his career despite diminished velocity, the Angels scored one run in the second. Albert Pujols singled and scored on a two-out infield hit by Brian Goodwin,

In the fourth, Pujols led off with a double into right-center, giving him his second two-hit game in the first four games that he’s started. With one out, Pujols scored from second on a single up the middle by Jonathan Lucroy, barely beating a throw that had bounced on the mound.

An out later, David Fletcher singled to bring him Lucroy, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

The Angels couldn’t bring home Fletcher with the tying run, and in the sixth they wasted a first-and-second, one-out situation, when Goodwin hit into a double play.

By the time they got another baserunner, Robles had allowed the Mariners a couple insurance runs on a Jay Bruce homer in the seventh. They were the first runs the Angels bullpen had allowed in the young season.

More to come on this story.

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1st, 3rd, 5th.. what difference does it make when you dont score?  I spent all off season praying for some offensive help and got a bunch of toolsy guys that we hoped would fill in those gaps.  I know its early but man oh man does this look rough right now. 

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1 minute ago, floplag said:

1st, 3rd, 5th.. what difference does it make when you dont score?  I spent all off season praying for some offensive help and got a bunch of toolsy guys that we hoped would fill in those gaps.  I know its early but man oh man does this look rough right now. 

It’ll look a lot different with Upton and Ohtani. 

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25 minutes ago, Stradling said:

It’ll look a lot different with Upton and Ohtani. 

Of course, but the bulk of those guys are still in the mix just getting fewer at bats.  The only one not part of the original plan was Goodwin.  They've just all been horrible to date.  

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