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OC Register: Angels’ offense vanishes in loss to Mariners

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The Angels and Mariners followed similar paths to their first meeting of 2021 on Friday. Both teams struggled to find their footing in the season’s first month, never falling more than one game below or climbing five games above .500.

What began as a predictably even matchup for the Angels snowballed into a 7-4 loss before an announced crowd of 8,632 at T-Mobile Park.

Angels starter Andrew Heaney (1-2) allowed three solo home runs, and the Mariners pulled away against the Angels’ bullpen to spoil the drama of a close game.

The Angels took a 3-2 lead in the third inning on a solo home run by Shohei Ohtani, his eighth of the season. They did not record another hit until Mike Trout led off the ninth inning with a double.

Trout went 2 for 4, increasing his league-leading batting average to .425.

Heaney allowed four runs in 3⅓ innings. The left-hander had allowed three runs in his previous three starts combined. He allowed six hits, walked two batters and struck out five.

The Angels had a chance to knock out Mariners starter Chris Flexen (3-1) early, too. Albert Pujols missed a two-run home run by mere inches in the fourth inning, clobbering a Flexen fastball over the middle of the plate. But Mariners left fielder Sam Haggerty leaped to catch the ball at the top of the wall, 382 feet from home plate.

A solo home run by Tom Murphy on an 0-and-2 count broke a 3-3 tie and spelled the end of Heaney’s night.

With Junior Guerra on the mound in the sixth inning, Dylan Moore stole third base, then scored when catcher Kurt Suzuki threw the ball wide of third base. That was one of two errors the Angels committed in the field.

The other also led to a run. Haggerty led off the eighth inning with a routine ground ball to shortstop Jose Iglesias, who couldn’t get off a throw. Back-to-back doubles by J.P. Crawford and Murphy drove in two runs, completing the scoring.

More to come on this story.

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