- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Matt Shoemaker got some extra time between starts to fine tune some things and appeared to be back to his old self. The Los Angeles Angels couldn’t muster enough timely hitting to reward his effort, however.

Mike Trout hit his 19th home run in the first inning off Taijuan Walker, but the 22-year-old right-hander and the Seattle Mariners’ bullpen shut down the Angels the rest of the way and handed them a 3-1 defeat Friday night.

Shoemaker (4-6) allowed two runs and seven hits in six-plus innings, working on six days’ rest after getting two more days to improve his fastball command. The right-hander is 2-6 with a 5.16 ERA in his last 12 starts since opening the season with consecutive road wins over the Mariners and Texas Rangers - and 0-5 with a 4.82 ERA in his seven home starts.

“With that extra time off, I just worked on a few more things - just getting my upper half and lower half working better together,” Shoemaker said. “When I do that, I can see my pitches better and I felt like we did that tonight. I just had a few bad breaks. But I kind of got my timing back, which was really positive.”

The Mariners took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Austin Jackson led off with an infield single and came all the way around on Nelson Cruz’s one-out line drive over first baseman Albert Pujols’ head and into the right field corner.

“I felt that Shoe started off with great velocity and had really good command,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “The fastball was in good zones early. He pitched a really good ballgame and definitely gave us a chance to win. Maybe a couple of pitches here and there that he just didn’t get the ball quite where he wanted to, but we’ll take that outing from Shoe.”

Los Angeles mounted a threat in the bottom half when Trout led off with a single and Pujols was hit with a pitch just above the left elbow. Erick Aybar’s bunt advanced the runners, but David Freese struck out and Matt Joyce flied out on the next pitch.

The Angels have stranded 54 base runners over the last six games, going 4 for 35 with runners in scoring position during that stretch. Eleven of Trout’s last 12 home runs have come with the bases empty.

“Taijuan’s biggest pitch of the game was the elevated fastball to Freese, and he executed it to perfection,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “His ability to slow things down and relax in pressure situations has been, in my mind, just unbelievable.”

The Mariners opened the seventh with singles by Seth Smith against Shoemaker and Brad Miller against Cesar Ramos. Mike Zunino advanced the runners with a sacrifice after Fernando Salas came in from the bullpen, but Shoemaker got Jackson to ground into a double play after an intentional walk to Logan Morrison.

Fernando Salas gave up Robinson Cano’s fourth homer of the season leading off the eighth.

Aybar tried to stretch a double into a triple with one out in the Angels’ fourth and was thrown out by second baseman Cano, who got the relay from Trumbo in right field and fired a perfect strike to Kyle Seager.

Walker (6-6) pitched seven sharp innings to win his fourth straight start. He scattered seven hits, struck out six and walked none in his first career start against the Angels, stretching his streak of consecutive innings without allowing a walk to 21 1-3 spanning 87 batters. Opposing batters are 2 for 26 against Walker over his last seven starts.

“The guy throws 97 miles an hour and puts the ball where he wants to That’s an elite pitcher,” Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun said. “He had all his pitches working. We saw him in spring training a little bit, but this was the first time we got a crack at him during the season. He threw the ball well and did what he had to do.”

Fernando Rodney got three outs for his 15th save in 18 chances and his first since May 29. The former Angels right-hander, who set a Mariners single-season record last season with 48 saves, got his first opportunity since being demoted from the closer role.

Carson Smith, who had been closing this month, gave up a single to Trout and a walk to Pujols in the eighth before retiring Johnny Giavotella.


Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ (3-4) is 0-3 with a 6.08 ERA in his last three starts after five consecutive no-decisions. In three career starts against the Angels, he is 0-3 with a 9.82 ERA.

Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (7-5) has allowed two earned runs in 29 1-3 innings over his last four starts against Seattle and is 2-0 in those games.

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