José Suarez flirts with perfect game bid but Mariners beat Angels

August had started off as a particularly exciting month for José Suarez.

The Angels starter, who had not given up an earned run before Tuesday, took a perfect game through five innings. Following him on the other side of the ball through those innings was Luis Rengifo, whose bat powered two runs of support and a 2-0 Angels lead.

In the sixth, however, Suarez lost his momentum and after four straight singles and the lead given up, his night was done.

“I knew I was throwing a perfect game,” he said after, “but I was focused on throwing my innings and pitching well.”

The Angels went on to lose to the Seattle Mariners 8-2 in another game that ran away in an ugly ninth inning, which again included a questionable ball-strike call.

“It was terrible. It just was,” interim manager Phil Nevin said of the call.

Asked of Suarez’s night, Nevin said: “I thought he pitched really, really good. I mean, he pitched good enough for us to win for sure. And you know, it gets away from us in the ninth.”

The Mariners pulled ahead by five runs in the ninth inning, with Jesse Chavez on the mound for the Angels. Chavez got his first batter, Mitch Haniger, to ground out. He then missed out on an opportunity of a second out on his next batter, Eugenio Suarez.

On a 2-and-2 count, Chavez threw a strike that home plate umpire Brian O’Nora called a ball. Eugenio Suarez was able to reach base on balls two pitches later. He retired his third batter of the inning, then gave up five runs on four hits: single-triple-single-home run.

“My reaction was we got two outs, all right, on to the next guy,” Chavez said of that fifth pitch to Eugenio Suarez. “I know we’re all human, we all make mistakes, but situations like that. That can’t happen.

“I gotta come in here and wear [those five earned runs] and figure out how to get back on track,” Chavez continued. “The sad part is [O’Nora] gets to go to third tomorrow and doesn’t have to do anything. Accountability, where does it stop and where does it start?”

When José Suarez first lost his perfect game campaign at his second batter of the sixth inning, there was still some gratitude extended from the home crowd because he helped retire 16 of 16 batters. After Adam Frazier, his 17th batter of the game, reached base, the Angel Stadium crowd applauded Suarez.

There was no need for concern until he then gave up another single to Sam Haggerty. Pitching coach Matt Wise came out to talk to José Suarez. Instead of being able to settle, he then loaded the bases after giving up another single to Julio Rodriguez.

Suarez was pulled after the fourth single, a grounder hit to first by Ty France that was out of Jared Walsh’s reach. The ball rolled into right field and Frazier and Haggerty were able to score, tying the game at 2-2.

“They have a bat, they can hit too. It’s part of the game,” José Suarez said.

Angels second baseman Luis Rengifo looks skyward as he crosses the plate.

Angels second baseman Luis Rengifo looks skyward as he crosses the plate after hitting a solo home run against the Seattle Mariners at Angel Stadium on Wednesday.

(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Angels reliever Jimmy Herget came in to replace Suarez, with one out and runners at the corners. Herget’s very first pitch to Jesse Winker became a sacrifice fly, allowing Rodriguez to score and the Mariners to take a one-run lead.

Rengifo’s first run of support came in the first inning, a 402-foot shot to the palm tree patch beyond the left-center-field wall, off of Mariners starter Robbie Ray’s 1-and-2 four-seam fastball. That was Rengifo’s ninth home run of the season — four of those were hit this month.

The Angels scored again in the second inning, on three consecutive singles hit by David Fletcher, Shohei Ohtani and then Rengifo. Rengifo’s hit scored Fletcher to get the Angels a 2-0 score.

Ohtani made more noise in the fifth inning on a triple hit into the gap in left-center field. The ball bounced off the grass and into the wall before bouncing back onto the warning track. It took Winker a few extra moments to actually get the ball and make a play on it.

Ohtani was closing in on third base by the time J.P. Crawford got the throw from Winker. The ball bounced and popped up from Crawford’s glove, not that it mattered for Ohtani reaching safely. He was left stranded.

Suarez was pulled after the fourth single, a grounder hit to first by Ty France that was out of Jared Walsh’s reach. The ball rolled into right field and Frazier and Haggerty were able to score, tying the game at 2-2.

Angels reliever Jimmy Herget came in to replace Suarez, with one out and runners at the corners. Herget’s very first pitch to Jesse Winker became a sacrifice fly, allowing Rodriguez to score and the Mariners to take a one-run lead.

The Mariners pulled ahead by three more runs in the ninth inning, with Jesse Chavez on the mound for the Angels. Chavez got his first batter, Mitch Haniger, to ground out, then walked his next batter, Eugenio Suarez. He retired his third batter of the inning, then gave up five runs on four hits: single-triple-single-home run.

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