Williams roughed up, takes first home loss

Williams roughed up, takes first home loss

Williams roughed up, takes first home loss
ANAHEIM -- So many times on Wednesday night, Jerome Williams found himself one out away. He was one out away from keeping the Mariners scoreless in the second, one out away from preserving a two-run lead in the fifth and one out away from holding a similar lead in the sixth.

One out never seemed so difficult.

"At crucial moments," Williams said, "I had to make a pitch and I didn't make it."

That happened several times in the series finale against the Mariners. Enough that Williams was charged with seven runs (five earned) in 5 2/3 innings, leading the Angels to an 8-6 loss at Angel Stadium that saw them drop two of three to Seattle and snap a four-series winning streak.

Kendrys Morales homered and drove in three runs and the Angels torched Mariners starter Hector Noesi en route to plating six runs in the first five innings -- the same total they notched in the first five innings of Tuesday's 6-1 victory.

But Williams couldn't convert those coveted shutdown innings, because he simply couldn't get that final out.

There was the two-out, two-run double by outfielder Mike Carp in the second. The two-out, two-run double by third baseman Kyle Seager in the third. And, ultimately, the two-out, three-run rally in the sixth, which caused Williams to exit and eventually take the loss.

The 30-year-old right-hander came in 8-0 with a 1.34 ERA in eight career starts at Angel Stadium.

Then he failed to pitch six full innings for the first time since his season debut on April 15.

"I had to bear down and they got me," said Williams, now 6-3 with a 4.02 ERA on the year. "I have to be more aware of that, to actually put guys away and get people out."

The Angels had chances to come back, but they were blanked through the final four frames and finished 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Down by one, they had the go-ahead runner on base in the sixth and seventh, but young right-hander Stephen Pryor forced them into back-to-back inning-ending double plays, courtesy of Maicer Izturis and Howie Kendrick. Then, Ichiro Suzuki provided an insurance run with a solo homer off David Carpenter in the top of the eighth.

With two outs, of course.

"We're getting big hits in key situations, stuff we were missing out on earlier in the year," said Carp, part of a Mariners team that went 4-2 on the road against the Rangers and Angels. "It's starting to click, and it's a lot of fun when that starts happen."

In the ninth, the Angels couldn't get the big two-out hit the Mariners got with so much frequency.

Albert Pujols hit a two-out double off Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen, his second of the night, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. But representing the tying run, Morales struck out swinging on a 1-2, low-and-inside breaking ball to end the game, putting a sour end to a productive game offensively for the Angels' designated hitter.

"There was more we could've done offensively, but I don't know if you're going to look at this game and say this was an offensive letdown," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, whose club remained 4 1/2 games back of the Rangers in the American League West. "We had leads and we couldn't hold them."

The Angels tied it up at 2 in the bottom of the second, on an RBI double by Erick Aybar and a sacrifice fly by Hank Conger. In the third, they took a two-run lead on a two-run homer by Morales, who took an 0-2 fastball from Noesi and blasted it out to right-center field for his seventh on the year.

But with none on and two outs in the top of the fifth, Aybar misplayed a grounder by Ichiro for his eighth error on the year. Two batters later, Seager tied it up with a two-run double.

"I thought I was going to get that bounce," Aybar said in Spanish, "but the backspin just kept it down."

The Angels would take another two-run lead in the bottom half, thanks to RBI singles by Morales and Kendrick, but the Mariners came right back with a three-run sixth.

With runners on the corners and two outs, Ichiro hit an RBI single, snapping an 0-for-20 skid. Bobby Cassevah then entered, walking Dustin Ackley and giving up a two-run single to Seager that gave the Mariners their second lead of the game and the eventual go-ahead runs.

All the Angels needed was one out. But they could never get it fast enough.

"It's all about trying to be aggressive," Williams said. "I thought I was aggressive, and they got hits off me. You have to tip your hat."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.