Rough 10th inning costs Angels the game

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Updated: April 23, 2016

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lost 5-2 in the 10th frame of an extra-inning battle to the Seattle Mariners. Jose Alvarez allowed three runs in the top of the 10th inning that ultimately handed the Angels the loss.

Mariners’ shortstop Ketel Marte singled to begin the 10th inning. After a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Nori Aoki, pinch hitter Franklin Gutierrez knocked in Marte with an RBI-single up the middle to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead. Mariners’ designated hitter Nelson Cruz added a two-run homer later in the inning to extend the lead to 5-2.  

Angels’ starting pitcher Nick Tropeano struggled in the first inning of the game. He allowed the first three batters to reach and then gave up sacrifice flies to both Cruz and first baseman Adam Lind. The Mariners had a 2-0 advantage at the end of the inning.

Tropeano settled in after the first and shutdown the Mariners for the next 4 and 1/3 innings. He finished his outing with two runs allowed, four hits, four walks and five strikeouts. Tropeano has a 1.69 ERA since being called up to replace the injured Angels’ pitcher Andrew Heaney.

The Angels offense threatened in the first inning when third baseman Yunel Escobar and left fielder Rafael Ortega singled to start the frame, but they failed to score.

It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the Angels’ offense finally got on the board. Right fielder Kole Calhoun hit a solo home run that cut their deficit to one.

The following inning Angels’ first baseman C.J. Cron crushed a ball over the center field wall to tie the game at two. It was Cron’s first homer of 2016. The home run could be the groove Cron needs to get going. He is only hitting .161 so far this season.

In the top of the sixth inning, with former Angels’ catcher Chris Iannetta batting, Angels’ reliever Fernando Salas delievered a pitch that appeared to deflect off the knob of Iannetta’s bat. The umps originally ruled it a wild pitch with no contact with Iannetta’s bat, and that allowed Lind to advance to second base. After a long discussion with Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia they decided to switch the call to a foul ball which sent Lind back to first base. Mariners’ manager Scott Servais tried arguing, but they upheld the foul ball call.

Later in Iannetta’s at bat, Salas struck him out and Angels’ catcher Carlos Perez gunned down Lind, who was attempting to steal second base, for a strike’em out, throw’em out double play.

Mariners’ starter Hisashi Iwakuma pitched well and only made two mistakes (the two solo home runs). He replaced scheduled starter Felix Hernandez after he was scratched due to illness. He finished with eight innings pitched, six hits allowed, one walk and three strikeouts.

Both teams flashed the leather in the later innings of the game. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Aoki robbed Angels’ shortstop Andrelton Simmons of a base hit with a diving catch. In the top of the eighth inning, Escobar made a diving snow cone snag on a liner by Cruz. The catch prevented a potential double. In the top of the ninth inning, Lind hit a ball down the third base line, but hesitated rounding first. He decided to risk it and Ortega gunned him down with a laser from left field.

Besides for Alvarez’s struggles, the Angels’ bullpen looked solid. Angels’ relievers Greg Mahle, Fernando Salas, Joe Smith and Huston Street combined for 3 and 2/3 innings, allowed three hits and struck out two.

Anthony Sosa is a Staff Writer at Halo Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @A_sos27.

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