Rookie Thaiss’ 8th-inning HR sends Angels past Mariners

MLB

os Angeles Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 14, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Rookie Matt Thaiss hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners with a 6-3 victory on Sunday.

Mike Trout left the game before the third inning due to right calf tightness, but the Angels (48-46) kept rolling two days after their cathartic no-hit victory in their first home game since the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

After Kole Calhoun walked and went to third on pinch-hitter Justin Bour’s two-out single off Anthony Bass (1-3), Thaiss connected off Seattle’s Roenis Elias for his first career homer.

The rookie’s blast barely cleared the fence in right, but it sent the Angels to their sixth win in nine games since Skaggs’ death.

Thaiss, the Angels’ first-round pick in 2016, was playing in just his fifth big-league game. He followed up his stellar defensive play at third base during the Angels’ no-hitter with the second and third hits of his big-league career Sunday.

Calhoun hit his 21st homer for the Angels and Shohei Ohtani got his 100th major league RBI with a game-tying sacrifice fly for the Angels, who also tagged out three Mariners at the plate.

Domingo Santana and Austin Nola hit early homers off Angels rookie José Suarez for the Mariners, who have lost seven of eight.

Ty Buttrey (5-4) pitched the eighth, and Hansel Robles finished for his 13th save.

Seattle starter Yusei Kikuchi yielded just two hits, but the Japanese left-hander also walked four and couldn’t get an out in the fifth inning. Ohtani walked and struck out in his latest meeting with his fellow product of Hanamaki Higashi High School in Japan.

Suarez pitched seven-hit ball through 4 1/3 innings in his seventh career start and left trailing 3-1.

Andrelton Simmons drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth in his first plate appearance after replacing Trout in the lineup. Ohtani followed with a long fly that gave him 100 RBIs in 160 games with the Angels.

Trout’s incredible recent success at the plate was interrupted when he played just two innings in the series finale. The All-Star lined out to first in his only plate appearance, and he didn’t emerge from the dugout to start the third.

The two-time AL MVP had eight homers and 18 RBIs in his previous seven games, becoming just the sixth player in AL history to reach those totals in a seven-game span. He homered in each of this series’ first two games, including a first-pitch blast in the Angels’ no-hit victory Friday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Sam Tuivailala will make at least one more appearance for Triple-A Tacoma before he returns from a torn Achilles tendon that has kept him out of the majors since last August.

Angels: C Jonathan Lucroy is expected to be out for about three weeks after he has surgery Tuesday on the fourth broken nose of his career. Lucroy also incurred his third diagnosed concussion in a collision with Houston’s Jake Marisnick before the All-Star break. … OF Brian Goodwin could return Monday from a bruised right wrist.

UP NEXT

Mariners: After a day off, Marco Gonzales (10-7, 4.24 ERA) will go after his sixth win in seven impressive starts since June 7 when Seattle opens a road series against Oakland and Daniel Mengden (4-2, 4.73).

Angels: Rookie Griffin Canning (3-4, 4.43 ERA) gets his first look at the AL West-leading Houston Astros, who visit the Big A for a four-game series.

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