Error In 10th Gives Seattle Win Over Angels

On one hand, there is a very obvious place to look for the Angels loss to Seattle in the home opener for the Mariners and Ken Griffy’s homecoming.

First Franklin Gutierrez hit a double to deep left center off reliever Scot Shields. That brought up Yuniesky Betancourt' with the sole purpose of laying down a sacrifice bunt, and he did right up the third base line. Shields ran over, fielded it, rushed his throw to first and launched the ball into right field. Gutierrez scored and the Mariners won 3-2.

But the Angels really never should have been there in the first place.

They stranded 11 runners, seven in scoring position. One week into the season is far, far to early to call anything a trend, but one thing worth monitoring is that the Angels seem to be stranding a lot of runners so far.

All those stranded runner wasted a good pitching outing from two unexpected sources for the Angels. Shane Loux made his first major league start since 2003 and gave up just two runs through 5 1/3 innings of work. In the sixth inning Darren Oliver took the ball and gave up just one hit in three scoreless innings. Most days that would be good enough to win.

Howie Kendrick was the guy with the blown opportunities against the Mariners Monday, stranding five runners, including striking out with the bases loaded in the 5th inning.

On the bright side for the Angels, Torii Hunter hit a home run, a solo blast that tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth inning.

The loss dropped the Angels to 3-4 on the season, and they have scored an average of  4.1 runs per game, well off the American League average of 5 per game. It’s too early to call that a trend, but it is something to watch.

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