Tough game for M's in loss to Anaheim

Everything that is Mariners baseball didn't work for the team from the Pacific Northwest Wednesday night in Anaheim. Seattle (50-26) could have gained a game on Oakland, which lost to Texas earlier in the night. Instead, the Mariners remain six games up on the Athletics.

The way the Seattle Mariners played on Wednesday, sports fans in Seattle will almost undoubtedly be thinking irrationally.

Turn on the sports talk radio in Seattle on Thursday, and you'll likely hear all about the team's poor starting pitching, their penchant for stranding baserunners, and the unthinkable struggles of some new lefty named Matt White.

When your team is 50-26 and expectations are incredibly high as is the case in Seattle, every loss leads many fans to take such drastic measures.

Though the real baseball fans would understand that Wednesday's 6-3 loss to Anaheim was just one game in June, it'd be hard to deny that this one didn't hurt more than others.

There were several reasons why. Two streaks came to an end:

Ichiro Suzuki went 0-5, ending his 19-game hitting streak. What could have been ruled an infield hit in the fifth inning was instead ruled a throwing error on shortstop David Eckstein.

Meanwhile, the 26-game streak of consecutive games that Mariners starting pitchers had logged at least six innings ended as well. Jamie Moyer (10-5) went just five, dropping his third consecutive decision and second in a row to Ramon Ortiz and the Angels in the process.

Add to that 19 stranded baserunners for the game - John Olerud alone left five aboard - and another horrific outing by White - who surrendered a two-run homer to the light-hitting Eckstein in the eighth - and this was more than just one game in June.

This was one painful game in June.

Eckstein's shot off of White, who came in to relieve Julio Mateo for the final two outs in the eighth, turned a one-run game into 6-3 with one swing of the bat.

This came after the Mariners battled from behind all night long against Ortiz.

The Angels (37-38) jumped ahead 2-0 in the second inning on a RBI single by Eric Owens and a run-scoring double by Eckstein. Then, they tacked on another in the third on a double to left by Shawn Wooten that scored Troy Glaus from third.

Seattle battled back, loading the bases in the fifth inning with one out for Edgar Martinez. Martinez delivered a single to left field to score Ichiro and Carlos Guillen, making it 3-2 Angels. Olerud followed with a 3-6-3 double play to end the threat.

Anaheim scored in the bottom of the inning on a Wooten solo homer, but Seattle answered with a run of its own on a RBI double by Mark McLemore (his 1,500th hit of his career) to make it 4-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Mateo pitched 2.1 innings of hitless baseball to allow the Mariners to get back into the game.

But the Seattle bats never came through in the clutch, failing to capitalize when runners were aboard.

Guillen led off the seventh with a single off of Brendan Donnelly, but never advanced past that as Donnelly mowed down Bret Boone, Martinez and Olerud.

Seattle threatened again in the eighth when Mike Cameron led off with a double high off the wall in right-center. But after a visit to the mound from Angels' coach Mike Scoscia, Donnelly settled down. He got Randy Winn to ground out, and though Cameron advanced to third, McLemore then struck out and pinch-hitter John Mabry grounded out, swinging at the first pitch.

Troy Percival came on in the ninth, ahead by three thanks to Eckstein's two-run shot in the eighth, to retire the Mariners top of the order 1-2-3. It was his 13th save of 2003.

Eckstein and Garret Anderson accounted for seven of the Angels 10 hits on the night. Eckstein, who came into the game in the midst of the worst slump of his short career, went 4-4. Anderson added three hits.

Cameron led Seattle with a 3-3 day with a walk. Guillen went 3-4. In all, Seattle finished with 10 hits.

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