SEATTLE -- It took six weeks for the Los Angeles Angels to build any momentum this season, and now they head into the All-Star break having given most of it away.
The Angels dropped their third straight game on Sunday when their rally from an early 3-0 deficit came up short in a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Los Angeles (44-49) scored six runs in the three-game series while getting swept for the first time since mid-June.
"We've gotten better, but we're still not where we need to be," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. " ... It's in this group, but we need to get it going."
Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma (8-4) bounced back from his shortest outing of the season to throw seven quality innings. The All-Star allowed three runs and seven hits before Seattle's bullpen took over with a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth.
"He executed pitches better," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
The Mariners homered in their club-record 22nd game, with Michael Saunders delivering a two-run blow in the bottom of the second inning. It was the 23rd home run allowed by Angels starter Joe Blanton, who gave up four homers in his last start.
Iwakuma also got hurt by a long ball, his 21st allowed this season. Mark Trumbo's shot to lead off the fifth inning pulled the Angels within 3-1 while ending a 14-inning scoreless streak for Los Angeles.
Seattle eventually opened a 4-1 lead before Blanton (2-12) was taken out of the game with no outs and runners on second and third in the fifth. Reliever Michael Kohn used three strikeouts to get out of the jam.
Blanton allowed five hits and four runs in four innings. In his past three starts, Blanton has given up 14 earned runs without making it out of the sixth inning of any of those games.
After his latest performance, Blanton kicked over a garbage can in the visiting dugout.
"There's definitely an upgrade needed in Joe's performance," Scioscia said. "He's a guy we're banking on to get us through a certain amount of innings, and he's kind of been hit or miss with that."
A two-out rally by the Angels in the sixth cut the Mariners' lead to one, with Alberto Callaspo delivering a two-run single to pull Los Angeles within 4-3.
Albert Pujols led off the top of the eighth with a double but ended up getting stranded when Seattle reliever Charlie Furbush retired the next three batters, including an inning-ending strikeout by Trumbo.
Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen came on in the ninth and retired all three batters he faced to pick up his third save in as many opportunities this month. Wilhelmsen, who blew three save opportunities in June, has 19 saves this season.
The Mariners' third straight win gave Seattle (43-52) its longest winning streak since late April and capped its first three-game sweep of the season.
"It's a big win for us, especially going into the break," Wedge said. "That's something we hadn't done this year. It's hard to win a series; it's real hard to sweep. A lot of good things have happened here -- not just these last three days but the last two or three weeks. You can see where these guys are headed."
NOTES: Seven of the Angels' first 10 games after the All-Star break are against the Oakland A's. ... Mariners manager Eric Wedge said OF Franklin Gutierrez (hamstring) is likely to make do rehab stint at Class A Everett this week with designs on continuing the rehab assignment at Triple-A Tacoma by the end of the week. ... Because he started Sunday, Iwakuma is unlikely to pitch in Tuesday's All-Star Game. Iwakuma was recently named to the All-Star roster for the first time. ... The Mariners' pregame notes had LHP Joe Saunders facing Houston's Bud Norris as the probable starters in the first game back from the All-Star break on Friday.