Moseley, Halos fall to Mariners in finale
Righty allows four runs in 4 2/3 innings; late rally falls short
ANAHEIM -- Angels starting pitcher Dustin Moseley said he felt like he's been making progress and limited mistakes in his start Sunday against Seattle.
But that hasn't seemed to matter much for the right-hander in his four starts this year.
He lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up four runs, and although the Angels made a late charge, they fell, 4-2, to the Mariners in the series finale at Angel Stadium. The win in front of a sellout crowd of 43,631 saved Seattle (10-10) from a three-game sweep at the hands of its division rivals.
"Overall, I thought I made some adjustments, some things I did better at, some positives I can take away that I've been working on," Moseley said. "But it seems like everything, every mistake and little thing, is magnified right now for me. Instead of the ball being hit at somebody, it's a gapper."
In the case of Seattle first baseman Richie Sexson, a mistake on a 3-1 pitch did not result in a gapper, but a two-run home run to left field in the second inning for a 2-0 lead. It was his third home run of the series, his fifth of the year and No. 299 of his career. The homer scored third baseman Adrian Beltre, who walked to lead off the inning.
Sexson has been a terror for the Angels (12-8) this season, hitting four of his five homers against the Halos.
"Falling behind a 3-1 count, I tried to go in on him and it just flattened out on me a little bit," Moseley said. "And he got it."
Moseley (1-2) got out of a jam in the third with runners at second and third with one out, when Ichiro Suzuki caught in a rundown at third base. The right-hander got out of the inning unscathed and set down Seattle in order in the fourth.
But in the fifth, he gave up two more runs. Ichiro smacked a triple to the gap in right-center field to score Willie Bloomquist from first base. Jose Lopez followed after Ichiro with a single to right field to score the Seattle center fielder for a 4-0 lead.
Moseley gave up eight hits and allowed four runs, struck out three and walked a pair. He has a 7.78 ERA in his four starts and only got past the fifth inning in one of those, but manager Mike Scioscia is adamant the right-hander will be the one who gets the start next time around.
"[Moseley] just wasn't able to get into a consistent groove out there, where he can repeat pitches," Scioscia said. "His stuff is good. He hasn't been as sharp as we've seen him when he started off the season, but, you know, we need him, we need him to give us a chance to win. Even though we didn't win today, at least he minimized some damage and kept us in the game."
The Angles bullpen was solid behind Moseley, allowing just one hit over the final 4 1/3 innings. The combination of Darren O'Day, Chris Bootcheck, and Jason Bulger retired 13 of the final 14 batters they faced. Bootcheck had just been activated from the disabled list Saturday night (left oblique strain), and Bulger was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake after Sunday's game in place of infielder Kendry Morales.
While Moseley had a tough time, Mariners starter Miguel Batista cruised, striking out eight and evening his record at 2-2. He allowed eight hits to the Angels over 7 2/3 innings, but the Halos never had a runner reach third against the veteran right hander.
The Seattle bullpen, however, gave the Angels some life.
Right-hander Mark Lowe walked Juan Rivera and Maicer Izturis to lead off the final frame. Lowe got the next two batters out, but walked Chone Figgins to load the bases.
Gary Matthews Jr. connected on a single to right field that found the hole between first and second base, scoring both Rivera and Izturis to make the score 4-2. With the always dangerous Vladimir Guerrero up next, Lowe was replaced by Brandon Morrow, who walked Guerrero to load the bases again.
Lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith replaced Morrow, who grabbed his second save of the season by striking out Garret Anderson looking with the bases loaded.
"He has been under control and shown a good assortment of pitches," Seattle manager John McLaren said. "He threw some nice pitches to Anderson and that last pitch, I don't know if 'frozen' is the right word, but it was a nasty pitch. Garret is one of the most respected hitters on their club, if not the league. He is not an easy out, by any means."
But for the Angels, the rally was too little. too late. They stranded 11 runners and were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
"We left too many guys on base and had the ducks lined up, but we couldn't get a hit in the last inning," Scioscia said. "We couldn't pressure Batista enough early and I think he controlled the game for the most part. I think by the time we got it going, we just couldn't get that last hit."
Amanda Branam is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.