Pennington's triple lifts Angels over Mariners to end skid
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Cliff Pennington isn't known for his big hits. In a game that had plenty of key ones for both teams, it was the utility infielder who came up with the biggest.
Pennington hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth inning, Albert Pujols slugged his 22nd home run and the Los Angeles Angels came back twice to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-6 on Tuesday night and end an 11-game losing streak.
With two outs in the eighth, Jefry Marte turned on a 97 mph fastball from Arquimedes Caminero (2-3) and drove it into the stands to tie the game at 6-6. Jett Bandy kept the inning alive with a single, and Pennington pulled a line drive into the corner for just his second triple since 2014 to score Bandy easily.
''It felt really good,'' Pennington said. ''It hadn't been a great night up until that point. It was nice to get the big hit''
Pennington had been hitless in his three prior at-bats and made a costly error that resulted in a run in the seventh inning. But his clutch hit and a double play in the ninth helped erase the misplay from his memory.
''We're tied up, so to get the hit and score a run was (big),'' Pennington said. ''But the double play was huge.''
Fernando Salas pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save, and Brett Oberholtzer (3-2) earned the win with a scoreless eighth.
''It was a slow-paced game but we felt like we were in control for most of it,'' Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ''Caminero has been awesome since he's been here and somehow he gets through Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. I don't think he let up or anything but give Marte credit, he turned around a 97-98 mph fastball and then it got away from us. Tough loss, we've been playing very good baseball.''
The Angels' 11-game streak tied a franchise worst and was the longest such streak in 17 years.
''It's good to see these guys kind of exhale a little bit,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''It's obviously nice to get a win, but we need to continue to get better and keep moving forward.''
The Mariners went ahead in the seventh when reliever J.C. Ramirez threw two wild pitches and overthrew first base on a routine groundout.
An error by Pennington put Robinson Cano on base and Ramirez then walked Nelson Cruz. With Kyle Seager batting, Ramirez threw his wild pitches, allowing Cano to come home and tie the game and Cruz to reach third. Cruz scored when Ramirez threw Mike Zunino's grounder past Marte at first base.
''J.C. has that power stuff that you want to match up against guys,'' Scioscia said. ''We got a little sloppy and started off with an error but you still have confidence that he's going to get out of the inning. And he did that, but unfortunately he gave up a lead.''
Down 4-1 in the sixth, Ariel Miranda, who started in place of the injured James Paxton, walked Kole Calhoun and Trout before being relieved by Nick Vincent. Vincent left a 1-2 fastball up for Pujols, who hit it well over the wall in left-center.
Pujols, baseball's active home run leader with 582, is now one shy of tying former teammate Mark McGwire for 10th on the career list.
Vincent, who played college baseball at nearby Long Beach State, gave up a home run to Bandy two batters later that put the Angels up 5-4.
''Our bullpen has been outstanding,'' Servais said. ''But they just didn't quite it done tonight.''
The Mariners scored three runs in the second inning to go up 4-1. After Cano scored on a single by Cruz with two outs in the fifth, Jhoulys Chacin was removed for Jose Valdez after being charged with four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Mariners: LHP Paxton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised elbow, retroactive Aug. 8, the date he was hit with a line drive. Servais said Paxton will throw a bullpen in Anaheim on Thursday, followed by a few simulated innings before making a return next week.
Angels: RHP Huston Street has been throwing and his knee is being evaluated and tested to see if he's making progress. Street was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 1 with right knee inflammation. ... RHP Cam Bedrosian is progressing but has not yet been cleared to throw. Bedrosian was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 9 with right middle finger tendinitis.
Mariners: RHP Cody Martin was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and will make his third major league start on Wednesday. Martin is 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in five relief appearances with the Mariners this season and 9-7 with a 3.93 ERA in 23 games (18 starts) in Triple-A this season.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs will make his fifth start since returning from Tommy John surgery. Skaggs lost his first decision of the season Friday in Cleveland. He's 1-1 with a 4.37 ERA this season and 0-1 with a 5.21 ERA in three starts against the Mariners.