Slumping Mariners' bullpen collapses in final 2 innings of a 5-4 loss to the Angels

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ANAHEIM, California — The Mariners turned a one-run deficit into a two-run lead with impressive speed, staging an impressive rally in the eighth inning against Angels reliever Joe Smith.

Seattle's bullpen then fell apart almost as quickly in another loss for a slumping club.

Carlos Perez capped his major league debut with a game-ending homer off Dominic Leone, and Los Angeles snapped its four-game skid with a 5-4 victory Tuesday night.

Erick Aybar and Johnny Giavotella delivered RBI singles off Danny Farquhar to tie it in the eighth for the Angels, who had blown a one-run lead earlier in the eighth.

The Mariners' bullpen is supposed to be a strength, but it couldn't withstand the pressure of the struggling Angels, who have one of the majors' worst offenses.

Leone (0-3) was sharply critical of his two-pitch outing.

"It's unacceptable, especially with this team fighting and battling to win games," he said. "Then you come in and give them that, it's unacceptable by me. I'll be the one who wears this one. Just coming out of my hand, It didn't feel like the one that I really wanted to let go up there. ... We needed a zero on the boards there, but right now I'm not pitching to where I want to be and where the team needs me to be."

Neither is Farquhar, who wasted a 4-2 lead and a strong start by James Paxton, who pitched seven innings of four-hit ball. Giavotella poked a single between two diving infielders for the tying run.

"It's definitely upsetting," Farquhar said. "I got a little unlucky with those groundballs finding the holes, but I should have made some better pitches and gotten some swings and misses."

Mike Zunino drove in two runs for the Mariners, who have lost five of six. Kyle Seager drove in the tying run and Zunino had a tiebreaking RBI double in their three-run eighth before it all fell apart.

"We showed a lot of fight in that inning, a lot of energy in the dugout, and guys had big at-bats," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Those are the kind of things that you like to see, so this is a tough loss. Anytime you have a lead going to the eighth inning, particularly with our bullpen, we expect to win."

About 2 1/2 hours after the 24-year-old Perez singled in his first major league at-bat, he was mobbed by his new teammates at home plate and then doused by two buckets of ice after his dramatic shot into the bullpens beyond the left-field fence. He dried off in the clubhouse, but the wonder hadn't left him.

"I can't explain any of that," Perez said. "It's my first game, and to finish like that, you'll never forget that moment."

Between his big hits, Perez had an eventful night catching Garrett Richards, the Angels right-hander with a 97-mph fastball and a vicious slider. Richards threw three wild pitches, but largely pitched effectively with Perez's help during seven innings of five-hit ball.

Albert Pujols also hit his 525th career homer for the Angels, and Huston Street (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth.

Paxton kept pace easily with Richards, shutting down the Angels after the first. Kole Calhoun singled on Paxton's first pitch, and Pujols drilled a 3-0 fastball well over the 390-foot sign in left-center for his fifth homer.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: Although the starting job as shortstop has been given to Chris Taylor, Brad Miller is staying in the majors while OF Austin Jackson is sidelined for the next two weeks.

Angels: LHP Hunter Green, a second-round pick in 2013, has a stress fracture in his throwing elbow. The 19-year-old prospect missed all of last season with back problems.

UP NEXT

Mariners: Roenis Elias (0-1, 3.86) makes his third start of the season after filling Hisashi Iwakuma's rotation spot.

Angels: Los Angeles wraps up the series with C.J. Wilson (1-2, 2.73), who has given up more than two earned runs in just one start this season.

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