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Griffin Canning’s masterful outing wasted in Angels’ 10-inning loss to Mariners

Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning throws during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners
Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning throws during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

When Joe Maddon pulled Griffin Canning after eight superb innings Sunday, the Angels manager liked the look on the 24-year-old right-hander’s face.

“There was a level of confidence and self-satisfaction that I haven’t seen yet,” Maddon said. “This is the kind of game he’s capable of having on a consistent basis, and that’s what we need to be a winning team, a first-division team.”

Griffin was not a winner despite throwing the best game of his two-year career, allowing one run and four hits in a career-high eight innings, striking out seven and walking one in a 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Seattle Mariners in Angel Stadium. But it was a performance the former UCLA standout can build on.

Griffin had a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings and a shutout through six. His only mistake was an 0-and-1 fastball he left up and over the plate to Kyle Lewis, who belted a solo homer to right-center field for a 1-0 Seattle lead in the seventh.

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Canning needed only 94 pitches — 64 of them strikes — to complete eight innings. He threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of 26 hitters, thanks in part to his increased fastball use and a more aggressive mind-set with all of his pitches.

“Just not worrying about making the perfect pitch, just attacking them,” Canning said. “I think the big word for me is ‘conviction.’ For whatever reason, I feel like hitters can feel a pitcher’s conviction. And if you’re convicted, then you tend to get away with a lot more pitches.”

Angels catcher Jason Castro, who will be a free agent after the season, was traded to the San Diego Padres on Sunday for hard-throwing reliever Gerardo Reyes.

An Angels offense that produced 13 hits, including the first two homers of rookie right fielder Jo Adell’s big league career, in Saturday night’s 16-3 win, mustered one hit in six innings against Mariners right-hander Justin Dunn on Sunday.

The Angels tied the score in the seventh off reliever Anthony Misiewicz. Albert Pujols led off with a double to left, the 666th of his career, passing George Brett for sixth place on baseball’s all-time list.

Adell and Anthony Bemboom struck out, but Andrelton Simmons shot a two-out single to right. A bobble by Seattle right fielder Jake Fraley allowed Pujols to chug home without a play.

Seattle scored in the 10th on pinch-hitter Tim Lopes’ RBI single to left. Luis Rengifo and Shohei Ohtani struck out in the bottom of the 10th, and after Mike Trout was intentionally walked, Anthony Rendon flied out to center, ending a season-high three-game win streak and dropping the Angels to 1-5 in extra-inning games.

The Angels played without catcher Jason Castro, who, according to multiple reports, was traded to the San Diego Padres for hard-throwing reliever Gerardo Reyes, pending medical reviews.

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Castro was in the lineup but was scratched shortly before first pitch when a deal became imminent. But he remained on the bench throughout the game and was available “in case of emergency,” Maddon said.

That emergency nearly arose in the eighth when Bemboom, who started in place of Castro, took a foul tip off the face mask and needed medical attention. Infielder David Fletcher, the team’s emergency catcher, had exited because of a minor ankle injury in the fifth. But Bemboom remained in the game.

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Highlights from the Angels’ 2-1 loss to the Mariners on Sunday.

The Castro deal had not been officially announced as of Sunday evening, but it aligns with the out-of-contention Angels’ desire to sell assets before Monday’s trade deadline.

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Castro, 33, hit .192 with a .707 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage, two homers and six RBIs, and is a solid game-caller and pitch-framer, but he will be a free agent after the season.

Reyes, 27, averaged 97 mph and touched 100 mph with his fastball in 2019, when he went 4-0 with a 7.62 ERA in 27 games for San Diego, striking out 38 and walking 11 in 26 innings. He also has a nasty 88-mph slider but has had trouble finding the strike zone consistently. He has not pitched in the big leagues this season.

The Angels traded utility infielder and pending free agent Tommy La Stella to Oakland for 24-year-old utility player Franklin Barreto on Friday, and Simmons and pitcher Dylan Bundy are drawing heavy trade interest.

Three takeaways

  • Infielder David Fletcher, one of the team’s most valuable players, tweaked his left ankle while peeling off the first-base line to avoid the pitcher covering the bag on a third-inning groundout. He remained at second base in the fourth but was pulled before the fifth. Fletcher was “pretty sore” after the game but does not believe the injury is serious. He is listed as day-to-day.
  • Brian Goodwin had a rough day at the plate, flying out to left field with two on to end the first inning, striking out in the fourth, popping out to third with two on to end the sixth and striking out with runners on first and third to end the eighth. His frustration boiled over in the sixth, when he slammed his bat into the ground after his popup.
  • Bunting and situational hitting seems to be a lost art for so many of today’s young players. Luis Rengifo, 23, led off the 10th inning with a runner on second and fouled off a bunt attempt. Given a chance to advance the runner with a grounder to the right side, the left-handed-hitting Rengifo fouled off another pitch. Then he struck out.

Angels manager Joe Maddon moved struggling designated hitter Shohei Ohtani to the second spot in the batting order to get better pitches.

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