SEATTLE (AP) - Nori Aoki put his foot down a few inches away from where he wanted it, just far enough to leave the Seattle Mariners wondering what might have been.
The Mariners built a four-run lead after six innings, but C.J. Cron homered in the eighth inning and hit a two-run bloop single with the bases loaded in the ninth to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-6 comeback win Friday night.
Seattle missed several opportunities, going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and losing out on a late run on Aoki’s baserunning error.
With one out and Aoki on first, Robinson Cano doubled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Aoki missed the base as he rounded second, forcing him to backtrack. He ended up on third instead of having a chance at scoring.
“You don’t often see that either, but it was a strange game tonight,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “There was a lot of stuff that happened that we haven’t seen happen to us early in this season.”
Aoki thought he had a chance to score, but he was looking at the ball as he reached second base.
“I missed the bag,” he said.
Joe Smith (1-2) loaded the bases with two outs by intentionally walking Kyle Seager before getting out of the inning without allowing a run to earn the win.
The Angels snapped a six-game losing skid, and the Mariners ended a three-game winning streak.
Ketel Marte hit a three-run triple, and Nelson Cruz and Chris Iannetta each hit solo home runs for the Mariners.
Cron’s solo homer in the eighth off Joel Peralta was his third of the year, and Jefry Marte added a run-scoring double in the inning to cut Seattle’s lead to one.
“You got to have short memory in this game,” said Peralta, who allowed two runs on three hits. “It happens today but you got to make sure tomorrow you are ready to go out there and compete and get guys out.”
The Angels loaded the bases with one out against closer Steve Cishek (2-2) in the ninth, and Cron’s short fly dropped in behind shortstop to score two runs.
Los Angeles starter Nick Tropeano got into several jams, but the Mariners offense had trouble scoring early. Seattle loaded the bases in the second and fourth innings but came away with only one run to show for it - on Leonys Martin’s sacrifice fly.
“We certainly had a lot of pressure on them early,” Servais said. “Got to give Tropeano credit, he bent but he didn’t break. They put some hits against us late, but we had plenty of opportunities we just couldn’t push enough across tonight. It happens.”
Cruz gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead in the fifth with his seventh homer. In the sixth, Seattle again loaded the bases and this time, Marte tripled to the right-center gap - past diving right fielder Kole Calhoun - to clear the bases.
Seattle starter Nathan Karns cruised early, then gave up singles to three of the first four batters in the seventh and left with the bases loaded and one out. Calhoun drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, then Trout’s run-scoring double cut the Seattle lead to 5-3.
Iannetta’s homer in the seventh was his fourth home run of the season and second in two games - he hit a game-ending home run in the 11th inning of the Mariners’ 6-5 win against Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
Mariners: Three relievers on the disabled list will test their arms Saturday. RHP Joaquin Benoit (right shoulder inflammation) and LHP Charlie Furbush (biceps tendinitis) will throw simulated games. RHP Tony Zych, who went on the DL on May 2 with right shoulder tendinitis, will have a light throwing session.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (1-4, 4.19 ERA) starts against the Angels in the second game of the series Saturday night. Iwakuma pitched eight innings at Los Angeles on April 22, allowing two runs, but ended up with a no-decision as the Mariners won 5-2 in 10 innings.
Angels: RHP Jhoulys Chacin is making his first start for the Angels after being traded from the Braves on Wednesday. He was 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA with Atlanta this season.
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