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OC Register: Angels’ late rally comes up just short in loss to Mariners

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ANAHEIM — The Angels started the second half in the wrong direction.

Needing a hot streak in the precious few games before the July 30 trade deadline, the Angels lost, 6-5, to the Seattle Mariners in the first game after the All-Star break on Friday night. The Angels trailed by five runs in the eighth before bringing the winning run to the plate in the ninth.

They dropped back to .500, at 45-45, with just 12 games to go before the deadline.

The bright spot for the Angels was that David Fletcher extended his hit streak to 25 games with a three-hit night, tying for the second-longest in franchise history. Only Garret Anderson’s 28-game streak in 2008 was longer.

One of Fletcher’s hits came in the ninth inning, when the Angels made the game interesting with a three-run rally. Fletcher’s hit drove in one run and then Shohei Ohtani lined a two-run single up the middle as fans chanted “M-V-P! M-V-P!”

Jared Walsh then singled, sending Ohtani to third, but Phil Gosselin then hit a flyout to end it.

With the comeback ending short, it was a game that was bad for the Angels on two levels. Aside from the loss itself, two of the players who might have at one point been attractive trade chips for the Angels continued to have disappointing seasons.

Starting pitcher Andrew Heaney gave up four runs in four innings, bumping his ERA to 5.56. Dylan Bundy, who has already been demoted to the bullpen, gave up another homer, his 17th of the season in 69 innings. He has a 6.78 ERA.

Heaney has allowed 19 earned runs in 18-1/3 innings in his last four starts. He gave up a run in the first on two singles and a hit batter. After a perfect second, he was burned by a three-batter sequence in the third.

Heaney left a changeup over the middle of the plate that Mitch Haniger ripped for a double. Ty France then poked an outside pitch the other way, into right field, to drive in a run.

Heaney, a left-handed pitcher, then got ahead of left-handed hitter Kyle Seager, 1-and-2, but he threw a fastball over the middle of the plate and Seager blasted it over the right field fence, putting the Angels in a 4-1 hole.

The deficit grew to 6-1 when Bundy gave up a two-run homer to Haniger in the seventh.

That was far too deep of a hole against Chris Flexen, who has shut down the Angels twice in the past week, continuing his breakthrough season.

Flexen had an 8.07 ERA in parts of three years as a New York Mets reliever before spending a year pitching in South Korea. Since returning he’s posted a 3.35 ERA in 17 starts for the Mariners.

Last Saturday in Seattle, Flexen shut out the Angels on just three hits over seven innings. This time they did only marginally better, scoring one run in seven innings, on a Max Stassi homer in the second inning.

More to come on this story.

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The Angels suck 90% of the game and then come back in the last 10% of the game just to give us all a glimmer of hope, only to run out of time and fall just short and leave us all with blue balls. 

Very reminiscent of the past 10-15 years of Angels baseball. Sigh….. when will this team be competitive again? Stupid ass Seattle is basically putting an end to our playoff chances the past two series. 

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