ANAHEIM -- The Mariners have been waiting for Robinson Cano and the offense to bust out.
What they didn't expect was a ninth-inning bullpen meltdown on the day it happened, which left Cano and the rest of his teammates reeling a bit as they packed their bags and prepared to head home to Seattle following a gut-wrenching 10-9 loss to the Angels on Sunday.
"It's hard when you lose that kind of game," Cano said after the Angels scored seven in the ninth for the walk-off win. "It's like nothing is going our way. But you just have to keep fighting.
"The last thing you want is to start hanging your head and start thinking about what happened the first seven or eight games. You just have to get ready for tomorrow. You win as a team, you lose as a team."
The Mariners finished 1-6 on their opening trip largely because the offense didn't materialize, but that finally changed Sunday when Cano racked up five RBIs with a home run and double.
"There's no time limit in these games," said Angels infielder Cliff Pennington, who recorded the game-winning hit. "They've got to get 27 outs. They didn't get the 27th one today."
The six-run lead seemed like plenty until the Angels rallied in the ninth to take the wind out of Seattle's sails, just when things finally seemed to be turning for the better. And this one won't be easy to forget.
"It's hard," Cano said. "I would say for myself, until tomorrow it's going to be in my head. You want to go out and win every game when you have a chance like that. We're human. You want to do your job and some days it doesn't go the way you want."
The positive, of course, is that the Mariners need Cano to start swinging the bat if they're going to crawl out of their early hole, and his first home run and first RBIs of the season helped lift the early malaise off the offense.
Rookie Mitch Haniger ripped his third homer of the season and Jean Segura scored three runs from the leadoff spot. And a Mariners team that totaled 13 runs over the first six games put up a nine-spot that normally would have salved some wounds.
"It was good for not only myself, the way I was swinging, but the whole lineup," Cano said. "Segura, Haniger, myself, Leonys [Martin] got a hit ... That's what we want. This offense will [eventually] wake up and we can score a lot of runs."
It often takes Cano a while to warm up his home run swing. But when he does, it's definitely good news for the Mariners. Their record when he hits a home run is 40-26 over his time in Seattle, including 19-12 last year.
Unfortunately, after the ninth-inning collapse, that mark is 0-1 this season.
"Robbie had a big day," manager Scott Servais said. "A lot of guys swung the bat much better today. We did what we needed to do offensively. We needed a day like that. But when you have them down, you have to put them away. Teams in this league will fight all 27 outs and we have to have a little more fight in us."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.