SEATTLE (AP) — Beating Felix Hernandez might be the satisfying win that propels the Angels to make a September run for a wild-card spot.
Mark Trumbo hit a two-run single in the eighth inning Saturday that helped hand Hernandez his first loss in nearly three months and Los Angeles won its fifth straight, 5-2 over the Seattle Mariners.
“That’s a big statement on how we keep grinding it out,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We beat a terrific pitcher this afternoon. He had been pitching as well as anyone in baseball for a while.”
Hernandez (13-6) lost for the first time since June 12. He entered this outing 9-0 with a 1.40 ERA over his previous 14 starts, including a perfect game.
Trout and Torii Hunter singled to open the eighth. Albert Pujols then hit a one-hopper to third baseman Kyle Seager, who couldn’t corral it down for an error. That allowed Trout to score, tying the game at 2, while Hunter and Pujols each moved into scoring position.
“I saw him going and it’s a contact play,” Seager said. “Trout runs well but if I catch that ball and make a good throw, he’d have been out pretty easily. It’s just a play where I got in-between hops and wasn’t able to make the play. I should have definitely made it.”
Kendrys Morales bounced out, and Trumbo then sent a hit through the left side as both runners scored easily.
The three-run rally continued against reliever Stephen Pryor as Howie Kendrick delivered a RBI single.
“They cracked the door open for us a little bit. I thought we had some good at-bats, some key hits, put some guys in motion. We were getting after it,” Scioscia said. “Felix is tough. He does special things with the baseball. He changes speed. He’s got stuff. He competes. We did a terrific job against a great pitcher.”
Hernandez, who was beyond 110 pitches when things fell apart, said, “I felt good. I felt the same. I was throwing the ball pretty good until the eighth. I feel strong.”
King Felix gave up five runs — four earned — in 7 1-3 innings. He yielded nine hits, walked two and struck out seven.
In three starts against the Angels, Hernandez is 0-2. He has allowed 15 runs and 24 hits for a 5.75 ERA. His ERA against the rest of baseball: 2.16.
Ervin Santana (8-11) went seven innings. He gave up two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out two.
Ernesto Frieri worked the ninth to pick up his 17th save in 19 opportunities.
“The fact is Ervin really, pitch for pitch, was right with Felix,” Scioscia said. “There weren’t many mistakes that Ervin had in this game.”
The Angels scored first, on Pujols’ RBI double in the first inning.
Trayvon Robinson tied it with his second home run, in the third. Franklin Gutierrez gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead with a run-scoring double in the third.
“He’s one of the toughest pitchers in the league. We both do a good job,” Santana said. “If both pitchers pitching good then we’re just waiting for one mistake.”
Trumbo found it.
“My whole thing is be present when I need to be,” said Trumbo, who was hitting just .202 in August and just came out of a 0-for-16 skid. “I found myself in a situation with a couple runners out there. I was able to clean up and able to drive them in.
“I don’t worry about yesterday. I don’t worry about tomorrow,” Trumbo said. “I need to be where I need to be and allow my ability to come out instead of trying force it.”
NOTES: The Angels added four players to the roster. Left-handers Nick Maronde and Andrew Taylor had their contracts purchased from the minors while C John Hester and INF Andrew Romine were recalled. “That depth is something that can help you,” Scioscia said. … Seattle also added a pair, OF Carlos Peguero and RHP Erasmo Ramirez. The club intends to bring up more players but will wait until after the minor league season ends Monday. OF Michael Saunders sat out after tweaking his right hamstring Friday. It came after he missed six games with the same injury. “I don’t think it’s any setback whatsoever,” Saunders said. He expected to be back in the lineup in a couple days. Manager Eric Wedge added, “Sometimes you just don’t know till you get out there at game speed.” This was the first of three straight home day games for the Mariners, the first time that has happened since Sept. 4-6, 1999, against Boston.