Cano hits 3-run 2B, lifts Mariners over Angels 6-5
LOS ANGELES — Seattle assured itself a winning season with another one-run victory Saturday night. It’s still holding out hope to accomplish more than that.
“It’s nobody’s goal to have a winning season,” Robinson Cano said. “The goal is to make the playoffs.”
Cano aided Seattle’s fading postseason aspirations with a three-run double that capped the Mariners’ rally from a four-run deficit in a 6-5 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Mariners are 7 1/2 games behind Oakland for the final AL wild card with 14 games to play.
Seattle trailed 4-0 before Kristopher Negron and Mitch Haniger homered in the fifth inning. Negron added an RBI single in the sixth, then Cano cleared the bases in the eighth to lift Seattle’s record to 82-66.
The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the first on back-to-back home runs from Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani. It was the 28th home run for Trout and the 20th for Ohtani.
Justin Upton added a solo home run in the fourth and a second solo homer in the ninth to give him 29 on the season.
“He’s obviously more comfortable in the box,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s gone through a stretch for the better part of this month where he was just having trouble finding his rhythm and finding the barrel of the bat on a consistent basis. But tonight he swung the bat like he’s capable of.”
James Pazos (4-1) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the victory.
Edwin Diaz allowed Upton’s homer but otherwise closed out the Angels in the ninth for his major league-leading 55th save. Diaz is tied for the third for most saves in a season with Eric Gagne (2003) and John Smoltz (2002).
“Fifty-five saves, wow,” Servais said. “Hopefully we can keep that total going. He likes getting out there.”
Seattle is 59-0 when Diaz has a save opportunity, part of why the Mariners are 36-20 in one-run games.
In addition to his 25th home run, Haniger came through defensively, saving two runs in the sixth.
First, he threw Trout out at the plate after fielding a sharply hit single from Ohtani. Then he went up against the wall, making a leaping catch just over the yellow line to deprive Upton a third home run.
“I was just hoping it wouldn’t carry,” Haniger said. “Luckily I camped under it.”
Said Servais: “He’s the real deal. The complete package.”
Andrew Heaney has been the Angels most consistent starter this season but struggled with that Saturday. He went five innings, allowing eight hits and a walk.
“Andrew was grinding tonight,” Scioscia said. “I think he was working against himself a little bit. Didn’t feel like he was in sync, had some trouble repeating some pitches. Then he made some good pitches to get out of jams. All in all, I think he just wasn’t as crisp tonight as maybe we’ve seen.”
Mariners: LHP James Paxton, who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 7 because of pneumonia, could rejoin the team in the next few days. Seattle has not scheduled a starting pitcher for Wednesday in Houston. Servais said LHP Roenis Elias, who pitched well in a spot start Friday, could also start Wednesday.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs has made only one start since July 31, when he re-injured his strained left abductor, but is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday. Scioscia said he could return to the rotation next week.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (12-9, 4.24) is scheduled to start the season series finale against the Angels. He is 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels.
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