SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners have owned the Los Angeles Angels to start this season, and some of the same ingredients were there Wednesday for that trend to continue.
A solid performance from the starting pitcher, Roenis Elias. A nice job by the bullpen in relief. And solid defensive work behind Seattle's pitchers.
But there was one noticeable item missing: The Mariners' offense could not cash in. And because of that, Seattle lost 2-0 in front of 16,437 fans, snapping a four-game winning streak against the Angels this season.
Elias was far from perfect, and he struggled with control at times. But he was able to maneuver his way through most jams and generally limited the damage.
The glaring exception to that came in the third inning. After Elias plunked the inning's leadoff hitter, Albert Pujols smashed a two-run homer to left field that put the Angels in front 2-0.
But Elias pitched well enough to keep the Mariners in the game. In his two outings this season, he has combined to pitch 10 innings and has allowed only three runs.
The problem was not Elias, or the stable of relievers manager Lloyd McClendon threw at the Angels after Elias departed following 91 pitches and five innings. The problem was an offense that did not string together hits or flip the score with home runs.
The Mariners' offense, which scored at least eight runs in three of the four games against the Angels, could not generate much of anything. In fact, the Angels allowed more Mariners to reach on errors (two) than the Mariners had hits (one).
The Mariners suffered their first shutout and did not have many threatening opportunities.
Their best chance came in the third inning, right after Pujols' homer. Abraham Almonte singled and Brad Miller reached when Angels shortstop John McDonald committed an error on a would-be double play. The Mariners could not capitalize as Robinson Cano and Justin Smoak grounded out and struck out, respectively.
It was the only inning in which the Mariners had a base runner advance beyond second base.
In the sixth and seventh innings, the Mariners' leadoff hitter reached base, only to never advance beyond first base. Other than that, the opportunities were few and far between.
That is not to say the Mariners didn't hit the ball hard at times.
Corey Hart ripped a ball into the upper deck in left field, but it sailed foul. Kyle Seager ripped a drive to the warning track in center field in the fourth inning, and Mike Zunino also drove a ball to the warning track in center field in the fifth inning.
The Mariners struck out eight times.