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Despite three Seattle long balls, Mariners fall in series finale to Halos

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

8/18 at LAA by TOM HAYDEN

64-56, 7.0 GB in AL WEST

The Mariners were narrowly defeated on Thursday night in Anaheim in what was truly a wild wild one. With 4 different score changes in 9 innings of play, both teams battled to the end, something we have seen this entire series with these Angels. Los Angeles is having a disappointing season at 51-70, dead last in the American League Western division standings.  On Wednesday night, a rare situation occurred, as RHP Hisashi Iwakuma suffered his 8th loss of the season. Iwakuma came into the game seeking his 15th win of the season, and he pitched a game worthy of a win, but you can't win when your team loses, obviously. Offensively, the Mariners had themselves a decnt night despite the loss, putting up 2 solo homers and 1 2-run home run. With the loss, the Mariners are not in trouble Wild Card or Division wise, for they are now 7.0 games behind the first place Texas Rangers in the American League Western division standings and still only just 3.0 games back for a that second Wild Card spot in this American League Wild Card race. The Boston Red Sox are the team we are trying to catch right now, as they sit in that second Wild Card spot at this point of the season. 

On Thursday night with the bats, the Mariners combined to put up 4 runs on 8 hits off of LAA RHP Matt Shoemaker, LHP Jose Alvarez, and RHP Fernando Salas. Everyone who did get a hit on Thursday night, it was for their only hit of the night. In the top of the first inning, 2B Robinson Canó got things started with a solo blast to right center for his 27th on the season! Canó (.294 AVG), now has a total of 75 RBI on the season for the Mariners after his homer on Thursday night. It was then in the top of the sixth inning when DH Nelson Cruz launched his 31st homer of the season, also a solo shot, this one to left center. Cruz (.284 AVG) now has a total of 75 RBI on the season, tied with Robinson Canó for second on the team for amount of RBI. Kyle Seager leads the team with 79. The Mariners weren't done hitting homers after Nelly's homer in the sixth, however, as C Mike Zunino (.269 AVG) blasted an opposite field shot in the top of the ninth inning, a 2-run home run for his 7th in just 24 games played so far this season! Zunino now has 15 RBI in that time also, after the 2 RBI night on Wednesday. CF Leonys Martin (.242 AVG), 1B Adam Lind (.233 AVG), and 3B Kyle Seager (.285 AVG) each notched a single for the M's in this one. LF Nori Aoki (.262 AVG), and RF Seth Smith (.261 AVG) each had a double on Thursday night! Smith's was for his 11th of the season and Aoki's was for his 14th of the season. 

On the mound on Thursday night, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma made his 25th start of the season, a team high for starts by a pitcher so far this year. It was not one of Kuma's best starts of the year in any way, but it wasn't a bad outing. Hisashi went a total of 7.0 innings strong, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits (2 runs earned) while walking 1 but only striking out 2 Angels. Iwakuma gave up a solo homer to LAA C Jett Bandy in the bottom of the fifth inning. Unfortunately, Iwakuma was dealt his 8th loss of the season and now has an individual W-L record of 14-8 on the season with an ERA of 3.78 in 157.0 innings pitched so far this year. In relief on Thursday night were RHP Nick Vincent (4.10 ERA) and LHP Vidal Nuño (2.76 ERA). Vincent had a tough night giving up 3 runs on 3 hits (al runs earned) in 0.2 innings of work. Vincent struck out 1 and walked 1 in his outing. Vidal Nuño continues to pitch well as he gave up only 1 hit in 0.1 innings of work for the Mariners in this one. 

WHAT'S NEXT? : 

After going 4-3 on the west coast road trip, our 64-56 Seattle Mariners will now head home looking to do even better as we welcome in the Milwaukee Brewers of the National League Central division for a little inter-league weekend play! The Brew Crew will come into Safeco Field on Friday night with a W-L record of 52-68 on the season. Looking to get this 3-game weekend series started on a good will be LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-0, 4.68 ERA) who will be making his 9th start of the season. LeBlanc and the Mariners will take on MIL rookie LHP Brent Suter (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Be sure to tune into ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle as "Star Wars Weekend" gets underway on Friday night at the Safe! First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET!

MARINERS 365 NOTES: 

RHP Steve Cishek has been activated off of the 15-day disabled list. 

INF/OF Stefen Romero has been recalled from AAA Tacoma, and is in Friday night's starting lineup vs MIL. 

1B Dae-Ho Lee and RHP Joe Wieland have been optioned to AAA Tacoma. 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our Mariners #KeepFighting! 

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