Tim Salmon hit a run-scoring single and Scott Spiezio followed with an RBI double in the eighth inning to give the Anaheim Angels a 2-1 victory over the Mariners on Sunday, denying Seattle a chance to overtake Boston in the hunt for the wild card.
The Mariners remained a half-game behind the Red Sox despite Boston’s 7-2 home loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
“It’s tough,” said Seattle starter Ryan Franklin, who threw 7 2-3 strong innings. “That’s all I can say. It’s tough.”
Seattle had a four-game winning streak snapped, and fell a season-high 3 1/2 games behind AL West-leading Oakland.
“Any loss this time of year is frustrating, especially in the position we’re in,” Mariners catcher Dan Wilson said. “We just need to keep working. We need to stay positive. Things will get better.”
The Mariners will have streaky right-hander Joel Pineiro pitching for them on Monday.
Pineiro went 5-0 in July before slumping in August with an 0-5 record and 8.31 ERA. However, he is coming off a complete-game 3-1 win over the Rangers on Wednesday. Pineiro allowed just four hits and struck out eight to improve to 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA career against Texas.
“He’s had a great run against us, and he gets us one more time,” Rangers catcher Todd Greene said. “I hope we can figure out something against him.”
STANDINGS: Mariners - 2nd place, 3 GB, AL West. Rangers - 4th place, 23 1/2 GB, AL West.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Pineiro (14-10, 3.74 ERA). Pineiro is 5-3 with a 4.12 ERA on the road this year. The right-hander has matched his career-high with 136 strikeouts.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Colby Lewis (7-9, 7.76 ERA). Lewis did not receive a decision in his last start. The 24-year-old righty pitched 4 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and three hits as Texas lost to Minnesota 5-4 on Sept. 7. Lewis is 3-3 with a 7.50 ERA over his last seven starts.
SEASON SERIES: Mariners, 9-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - OF Randy Winn is 5-for-6 with two doubles career against RHP Lewis. … OF Suzuki is second in the AL with 192 hits. … 2B Boone has two hits in his last 14 at-bats. Rangers - INF Mark Teixeira is mired in a 2-for-21 slump. … SS Rodriguez also leads the AL with 116 runs. … 2B Michael Young is 0-for-12 with three strikeouts in his career against RHP Pineiro.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 39-32 on the road; Rangers - 38-35 at home.
INJURIES: Mariners - INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Rett Johnson (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Thornton (elbow), 60-day DL. Rangers - INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 60-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 60-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL.