Adell’s pinch-hit slam not enough as Angels fall short to Mariners

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
The Angels erased an early deficit to make things interesting but could not get over the hump as they dropped the series opener.

Starter Jose Soriano struggled, but Jo Adell’s game-tying grand slam kept the Angels close until they eventually fell 5-4 to the Mariners at T-Mobile Park.

Soriano (2-5) allowed a season-high seven hits and walked two across six innings of work. He has now allowed five or more hits in four of his last six starts. The righty tossed 95 pitches as a tough first inning hindered his momentum from the jump.

The only offense of the day came in the top of the seventh as Jo Adell delivered a game-tying grand slam to get the Angels even at four. It was just their fourth hit of the game, but it gave the squad life with some pinch-hit magic. However, Ty France’s 8th-inning home run put the Mariners back in front for good as they hung on for the victory.

The Angels are now in the midst of a three-game skid after dropping the final two games of their series against the Yankees. They are 21-36 on the season and have lost six of their last seven games. Momentum has quickly shifted in the wrong direction.

Here are three takeaways:

Soriano has messy start

Soriano allowed four runs, three of which came in the first inning. He allowed a double, single, and walk to start his appearance as the Mariners quickly loaded the bases with no out to start the game. Cal Raleigh then hit a sacrifice fly to get Seattle on the board before Ty France collected a 2-run double two batters later.

Kevin Pillar could not make the grab for what would have been the crucial third out of the frame. In the inning, Soriano allowed three of his seven hits. The big two-out knock from France gave Seattle the early momentum as Soriano conceded the majority of his runs. He would allow just one more run in the bottom of the fifth on a single from Cal Raleigh.

The 25-year-old’s ERA is now up to 3.86 after allowing four runs for the second consecutive start. He was fortunately spared of a sixth loss thanks to Jo Adell’s heroics later on in the game. Soriano has shown bright spots this season but has run into a recent struggle. He still has three starts in the month of May in which he allowed one run or less. In those games, he has done a much better job at avoiding early trouble and finding a groove. He will need to do a better job at settling in early over his next couple of starts if he wants to shake his struggles and get back to showing off his promising potential.

Adell’s big moment revives Angels

With his pinch-hit grand slam on Friday night, Adell made some team history. He smashed the seventh pinch-hit slam in Angels history and just the second to tie a game. The 25-year-old was called off the bench to hit in a huge moment in the top of the seventh inning. Los Angeles had loaded the bases with two outs via a pair of walks and a double from Willie Calhoun. Adell would then step up to come through with his premier moment of the season so far.

It was a huge moment for him as he snapped an 0-19 slide at the plate with his 11th homer. Adell is now tied with Taylor Ward for the team lead. It was the first pinch-hit grand slam for the Angels since Alberto Callaspo did it on May 26, 2012, also at T-Mobile Park. The two home runs are the only pinch-hit grand slams by any team in T-Mobile Park history.

Hitting .211, Adell definitely still has some work to do. The big hit will certainly boost his confidence, and hopefully he uses it to spark a successful month of June. He has not had a multi-hit game since May 8 and would love to start contributing at a higher level.

He was robbed of a chance to help the Angels tie the game in the top of the ninth after Kevin Pillar was picked off trying to steal second base. Adell could do nothing but watch as he was left stranded with the bat in his hands at home plate while Pillar was tagged to end the game. The rally might have fallen short, but his big slam certainly helped to give the lineup some major life when they needed it the most.

Matt Moore surrenders go-ahead shot

After earning his first win of the season in his last appearance on May 28, Moore could not hold off the Mariners on Friday night. With the game tied at four headed to the bottom of the eighth, he allowed a go-ahead solo home run to Ty France.

The home run capped off what was a perfect day at the plate for France. He finished 3-3 with a walk and had three RBI. As for Moore, he took his second loss of the season and fell to 1-2. The lefty has struggled this season as he currently holds a 5.91 ERA. He has allowed 20 hits (5 home runs) across 21.1 innings of work. Unfortunately, he was not able to hold things down for the Angels as they fell short in their first game of the season against the Mariners.

Los Angeles and Seattle will meet for the second game of the series at 4:15 on Saturday afternoon. Lefty Reid Detmers (3-5, 5.76 ERA) will start for the Angels against Mariners’ righty Bryce Miller (4-5, 3.48 ERA). The Angels are looking to avoid snapping their three-series winning streak on the road.