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Angels come up empty again in 3-0 loss to Mariners

They haven't scored in 21 innings and get only five hits, all singles, against Seattle. Jered Weaver loses his fourth in a row after a 6-0 start.

May 18, 2011|By Mike DiGiovanna
  • Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo can't get to a line drive hit by Seattle's Chone Figgins during the first inning of the Angels' 3-0 loss Wednesday.
Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo can't get to a line drive hit… (Jim Bates / MCT )

Reporting from Seattle — The first 20,000 fans who enter Safeco Field on Thursday will receive a Franklin Gutierrez "Death to Flying Things" fly swatter to commemorate the Gold Glove Award the Seattle Mariners center fielder won last season.

If they run out of giveaway items, they can always snag a few of those fly swatters in the Angels' bat rack.

The balsa wood-wielding Angels were shut out for the second consecutive game Wednesday night, managing five hits in a 3-0 loss to the Mariners, and it has gotten to the point where the Angels need Mapquest to find home plate.

They've now gone 21 innings without a run, mustering eight hits, all singles, in that span. They've lost four straight games and six out of seven.

"You have to score runs to win," Angels pitcher Jered Weaver said, "and it didn't happen tonight."

Weaver suffered his fourth straight loss after going 6-0 with an 0.99 earned run average in his first six starts.

The right-hander gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, striking out four and walking one, a mediocre outing against a team that ranks 13th in the American League in runs, home runs, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Weaver (6-4) gave up all three runs in the first three innings but retired eight of the last nine batters he faced, three by strikeout.

"He was a little out of sync and really fighting himself out of the stretch, trying to find his rhythm," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "But he finished strong and gave us a chance to win."

Weaver's old Cal State Long Beach teammate, Seattle left-hander Jason Vargas, gave up four hits in seven shutout innings and had a season-high nine strikeouts to improve to 3-2.

The Angels threatened in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs on a pair of walks and an infield single, but pinch-hitter Hank Conger struck out looking at a full-count fastball by reliever Jamey Wright.

The Angels are now batting .198 (39 for 197) in six games on the trip. Peter Bourjos, who struck out twice and flied out Wednesday night, is hitless in his last 23 at-bats and has one hit and 13 strikeouts in his last 29 at-bats.

Torii Hunter was hitless in three at-bats and is one for 20 on the trip. Mark Trumbo had a single in three at-bats but is in a four-for-28 slump.

Power has also been in short supply for the Angels, who hit 24 homers in their first 19 games but have hit 10 in the last 25 games.

Howie Kendrick and Trumbo share the team lead with six homers, but Trumbo hasn't hit one since May 5, and Kendrick hasn't hit one since April 20. Hunter, their cleanup batter, hasn't homered since April 21.

"I have to be accountable and get things done," Hunter said, adding that the home run drought is not a concern.

"I know they come in spurts," said Hunter, who is batting .223 and has grounded into a league-high 12 double plays. "Right now I'm concentrating on hitting the ball, getting my average and on-base percentage up. I'm not trying to do so much. I'm trying to take what the pitchers are giving me."

The lack of power wouldn't sting as much if the Angels were hitting in the clutch. The Angels went one for six with runners in scoring position Wednesday; they're five for 44 (.114) on the trip and hitting .233 on the season.

"The real Achilles' heel besides the lack of home runs is our hitting with runners in scoring position," Scioscia said. "That's costing us runs and putting pressure on the pitching staff."

mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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