The Anaheim Angels’ offense picked a bad time for a slump.
Shut out the last two games, the playoff-hopeful Angels look to regroup as they open a three-game series against the visiting Seattle Mariners.
After managing 15 hits in a 9-5 victory against Texas in the opener on Friday, the Angels were blanked in the next two, including a 1-0 decision in the finale on Sunday. It’s the first time since Sept. 28-29, 1992, against Kansas City that the Angels were shut out by the same team in consecutive home games.
The Angels, leading the majors with a .284 batting average, have lost four of six overall, combining for two runs in the losses.
Anaheim fell three games behind AL West-leading Oakland and remained five back of Boston for the wild card.
“Obviously, it’s not a good time for our bats to go silent,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. `Everybody’s tired in the whole league, everybody’s banged up in the whole league. We’ve got guys who are tired and banged up. But since we’re down to 13 games left, I don’t think it’s a time of year to give in to that.”
Anaheim starters have compiled a 1.71 ERA in the last six games. Jarrod Washburn pitched eight scoreless innings in Sunday’s loss.
“Earlier this season, our pitchers weren’t pitching well and our offense was going good,” Washburn said. “Now our offense is in a slump. But I know they will come out of it.”
Franklin tied a career best by allowing just two hits en route to his second career shutout and fourth complete game. He hadn’t won in 17 starts since June 5 and his losing streak was the second-longest in Mariners history to Mike Parrot’s 16-game slide in 1980.
“It’s been a tough last three months,” he said. “I kept working and grinding trying to get back on track.”
Franklin is 2-1 with a 1.88 ERA in three starts against Anaheim this season. Overall, he is 5-4 with a 2.39 ERA in 14 career appearances, including 11 starts, against the Angels. The 2.39 ERA is his lowest against any opponent he has faced at least five times.
Lackey allowed one run, five hits and struck out a career-high 10 over 7 2-3 innings against the Mariners on Wednesday. The right-hander, who had won three of four decisions, has a 1.80 ERA over his last three starts.
“He’s doing what we know John can do,” Scioscia said.
The Mariners dropped two of three to visiting Oakland with Sunday’s 2-1 loss, their 13th defeat in the last 18 games.
Ichiro Suzuki was hitless in four at-bats, holding his season hits total at 236. With 13 games remaining, he needs 22 to break the major league season record set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns in 1920.