SEATTLE (AP) — Taijuan Walker’s season of disappointment continues to get worse.
Counted on to be a key component of the Mariners’ rotation after starting the season strong, Walker reached a new low Saturday night. He lasted just two-thirds of an inning, allowing six runs — including three consecutive homers — and five hits in Seattle’s 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
“I felt really good in the bullpen and I guess it just didn’t transfer over,” said Walker (4-10), who lost his third straight start since being recalled from Triple A-Tacoma on Aug. 23. “I hit the first batter and kind of lost focus and just wasn’t good.”
Kole Calhoun, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit consecutive home runs in the first inning off Walker. Calhoun and Pujols each homered again later as the Mariners lost for the 9th time in 11 games.
Calhoun’s first-inning homer capped a 13-pitch at-bat in which he fouled off seven full-count pitches.
“I was just trying to put a ball in play,” Calhoun said. “I just kind of got into a battle, and fouled off some tough pitches and got some pitches to hit. Definitely wasn’t trying to hit a home run. Just trying to put a ball in play and have a good at-bat, and it just kept going and going and going and going.”
Tyler Skaggs (3-3) allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings for Los Angeles, striking out seven and walking one.
Walker hit Yunel Escobar on the hand with the first pitch and Calhoun sent a 3-2 pitch over the right-field wall. Trout, who entered 8 for 10 in his career against Walker, then hit his 27th homer and Pujols followed with his shot to make it 4-0.
Andrelton Simmons had an RBI double and Carlos Perez added a run-scoring single to cap the inning.
“That was the story of the game,” Mariners manager Scott Servais. “It was over before it really got started. Obviously, Taijuan did not have his best stuff tonight. The first pitch of the game, then the long at-bat to Calhoun that ends up with a home run, and then the home runs after.”
Franklin Gutierrez answered in the bottom of the first with a two-run homer, his 13th.
Pujols’ 28th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the second, gave him 588 for his career to move past Frank Robinson into ninth place on the all-time list.
Calhoun also had a solo shot, his 15th, in the third, and Jefry Marte’s added an RBI single in the fourth to make it 10-2.
Nelson Cruz hit his 34th homer to open the bottom half of the inning.
Walker, 11-8 last year in his first full season, was 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four April starts this season, but then went 0-5 in May.
“Tonight, he just didn’t have it,” Servais said. “You can make up all the excuses you want. He threw fastballs and it wasn’t big velocity and it got hit, without much of a secondary pitch to complement it.”
Angels: RHP Cam Bedrosian (2-0, 1.12 ERA), who already was on the DL (right middle finger flexor tendinitis) when the club announced earlier this week that he also was dealing with a blood clot in his upper right arm, will undergo season-ending surgery Tuesday for the clot, GM Billy Eppler said in a statement. … 3B Escobar was taken out of the game after being hit. X-rays were negative and the team said he had a contusion on the back of his left hand.
Mariners: RHP Drew Storen, on the 15-day DL (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to be activated Sunday. Storen pitched one scoreless inning for Triple-A Tacoma in a 20-pitch rehab outing on Friday, allowing one hit with one strikeout.
ANGELS ROSTER MOVES
The Angels recalled RHP Alex Meyer and 1B Ji-Man Choi from Triple-A Salt Lake City. Meyer, acquired from the Twins along with RHP Ricky Nolasco at the trade deadline, is expected to start Wednesday in place of Brett Oberholtzer.
TROUT STAYS HOT VS. SEATTLE
In 15 games against the Mariners this season, Trout is hitting .353 with seven home runs, two triples, two doubles and 17 RBIs, with 17 runs scored. In his career against Walker, Trout is hitting .818 (9-for-11) with a triple, three homers and six RBIs.
CANO DOUBLES UP
Mariners 2B Robinson Cano doubled in the first inning, making him one of four players in major league history with at least 30 doubles and 30 home runs in 12 consecutive seasons, joining Stan Musial (16 seasons), Tris Speaker (12) and Honus Wagner (12). Cano is the only player to do it in 12 straight seasons to start his career.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (9-13, 3.91 ERA) has won his last three starts and has pitched at least six innings in each of his last nine starts. He is 1-2 with a 5.82 ERA in three starts this season against the Mariners
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (14-10, 4.01 ERA) is 6-1 with a 2.14 ERA at home against the Angels.
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