Alexander: Angels’ Keynan Middleton, and his balky elbow, are part of a trend

ANAHEIM — Dodgers chairman Mark Walter put it succinctly a few years ago during a discussion about signing pitchers to long-term contracts.

“Pitchers break,” he said.

The parade of breakage continues.

Since spring training began in February, 12 pitchers have undergone Tommy John surgery. Some were prospects, others (including the Angels’ JC Ramirez, the Padres’ Dinelson Lamet, and Arizona’s Taijuan Walker) are big leaguers.

Are we about to see a 13th name on that list?

The Angels learned Monday that an MRI of reliever Keynan Middleton’s right elbow showed “damage” to his ulnar collateral ligament. Their announcement was purposely vague, noting that Middleton would get a second opinion “in the near future.”

But “damage” to the UCL is never good. The question is the severity, and whether stem cell therapy might be a viable alternative to the ligament reconstruction procedure.

Garrett Richards and Andrew Heaney both faced the same choice in May, 2016. Both opted for the therapy in which stem cells were injected into the area.

Richards’ therapy worked, and he was back on the mound by the start of spring training in 2017. Heaney’s didn’t. He underwent Tommy John surgery in July 2016 and was out until last August.

The aforementioned Ramirez tried the same tack when he was hurt last August, but he had to shut it down and have the surgery last month.

Yet it’s probably a risk worth taking, because if Middleton has the surgery he’d be out for most or all of 2019 anyway.

It is not just an Angels trend, although starters Tyler Skaggs, Nick Tropeano and Heaney have all gone through what Ramirez is enduring now and what might be in Middleton’s future. It is a baseball trend.

This is a telling statistic: From Dr. Frank Jobe’s pioneering operation on John in July 1974 through 1989, just 11 professional pitchers and two position players underwent the procedure.

There were 47 patients in the 1990s, 68 from 2000 through 2005, 61 from 2005 through 2010 … and 242 this decade, 105 since 2014.

Most have been pitchers, but not all. When the Dodgers’ Corey Seager underwent the operation this month, he was the third position player this year and eighth in the last five years.

Now balance those numbers with the reality that pitchers are treated far more gingerly today than ever before, with strict adherence to pitch counts. The night in the 1981 World Series when Fernando Valenzuela threw 150 pitches – you can look it up – in a complete-game victory? That’s nearly two starts for some pitchers today.

And that’s not a bad thing at all. Pitching is an unnatural motion, and the stress involved in throwing a baseball with any velocity – and its deleterious effect over time – is understood far better now than it was then.

“Pitching a softball is the way your arm was made to throw,” John said in a 2017 interview. “Your arm was made to go underneath and not go over the top. You’re going against the natural motion of the shoulder, throwing the baseball.”

And what of those relievers of yore who would pitch multiple innings for saves, or those starters who would make 35 or 40 starts and complete 20 to 25 of them?

“This is how they were trained,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Monday. “… I don’t know if any pitcher was pushed past what they were capable of, but it certainly was a different mindset to handling your starters and your bullpen 40 years ago.

“… Before I came up in 1980, and I think all the way through probably the mid-70s, it was a four-man (rotation) and that was it.”

He paused.

“A lot of them had really short careers, too,” he added. “Some didn’t. Some kept going.”

Much of the wear and tear takes place before a player even signs a contract now, because the innings and pitches pile up for young pitchers in the summer, in travel ball and showcase events. But more often than not, Scioscia said, an organization signing a pitcher has sufficient information about his previous usage and can manage his workload accordingly.

That’s not always enough to prevent injury. But here’s the other modern baseball reality: There is pitching life, and sometimes plenty of it, after Tommy John surgery.

One example was on the mound Monday night for the Angels. Heaney, in his sixth start of 2017, was brilliant for eight innings against Houston, holding the defending champs to a run and four hits and striking out 10 on exactly 100 pitches.

Middleton might have been downcast after hearing his injury report Monday, but back stories like that should keep him going. He is, after all, only 24.

jalexander@scng.com

@Jim_Alexander on Twitter

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A bounceback by Garrett Richards leads Angels to victory over Mariners

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani swings and misses a pitch from the Seattle Mariners in the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Ohtani struck out on the turn. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani swings and misses a pitch from the Seattle Mariners in the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Ohtani struck out on the turn. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons looks down after leaping to catch the ball and tries to tag Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon as he slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons looks down after leaping to catch the ball and tries to tag Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon as he slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, top, looks down after leaping to catch the ball as Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, top, looks down after leaping to catch the ball as Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon slides safely into second base on a stolen base in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards tries to field a soft ground ball as Seattle Mariners’ fielder Dee Gordon reaches first during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards tries to field a soft ground ball as Seattle Mariners’ fielder Dee Gordon reaches first during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout doubles against the Seattle Mariners in the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout doubles against the Seattle Mariners in the third inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, right, tags Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon who is safe at second following a wild pitch in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons, right, tags Seattle Mariners’ Dee Gordon who is safe at second following a wild pitch in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols lines out to end the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols lines out to end the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides safely into home to score against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani slides safely into home to score against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons singles in a run against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Andrelton Simmons singles in a run against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, starts to first as Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas looks on in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Calhoun grounded into a double play, but drove in a run on the play. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun, right, starts to first as Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas looks on in the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Calhoun grounded into a double play, but drove in a run on the play. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani singles against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani singles against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani dives safely back to first base after making a brief run toward second on his single in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani dives safely back to first base after making a brief run toward second on his single in the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani celebrates in the dugout after scoring against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani celebrates in the dugout after scoring against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, strikes out on a foul tip against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, right, strikes out on a foul tip against the Seattle Mariners during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols advances to third on a throwing error by Seattle Mariners center fielder Dee Gordon on a single by Shohei Ohtani during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols advances to third on a throwing error by Seattle Mariners center fielder Dee Gordon on a single by Shohei Ohtani during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by Andrelton Simmons against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates in the dugout after scoring on a single by Andrelton Simmons against the Seattle Mariners during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • A fan holds up a sign of the current number of hits by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols as he comes to the plate in the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Pujols hit a single in the fifth inning, the 3,000th hit of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    A fan holds up a sign of the current number of hits by Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols as he comes to the plate in the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. Pujols hit a single in the fifth inning, the 3,000th hit of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols singles against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th career hit. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols singles against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th career hit. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) celebrates near first base coach Alfredo Griffin (4) and Seattle Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy after Pujols gets his 3,000th career hit during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) celebrates near first base coach Alfredo Griffin (4) and Seattle Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy after Pujols gets his 3,000th career hit during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols waves his helmet to fans after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols waves his helmet to fans after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit was his 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols acknowledges the crowd after a line-drive single for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols acknowledges the crowd after a line-drive single for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • A scoreboard reflects the single of Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    A scoreboard reflects the single of Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols (5) against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia embraces Albert Pujols (5) after Pujols hit a single off Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake (8) for his 3,000th career hit, in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia embraces Albert Pujols (5) after Pujols hit a single off Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Mike Leake (8) for his 3,000th career hit, in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, embraces first base coach Alfredo Griffin after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is the 3,000th of Pujols’ career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, right, embraces first base coach Alfredo Griffin after hitting a single against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is the 3,000th of Pujols’ career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels walk out to congratulate Albert Pujols (5) after he hit a single against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Los Angeles Angels walk out to congratulate Albert Pujols (5) after he hit a single against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. The hit is Pujols’ 3,000th of his career. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates with Mike Trout between the top and bottom of the fifth inning after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols celebrates with Mike Trout between the top and bottom of the fifth inning after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from left, hugs third base coach Dino Ebel, left, while first base coach Alfredo Griffin carries first base, after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, second from left, hugs third base coach Dino Ebel, left, while first base coach Alfredo Griffin carries first base, after Pujols singled for his 3,000th career hit, against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

  • Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas, left, and starting pitcher Mike Leake talk after Leake gave up a run to the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Seattle Mariners catcher David Freitas, left, and starting pitcher Mike Leake talk after Leake gave up a run to the Los Angeles Angels during the fourth inning of a baseball game Friday, May 4, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Garrett Richards #43 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Garrett Richards #43 of the Los Angeles Angels pitches in the first inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels runs to third base in the fourth inning against the Seattle Mariners during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners that would be his 3,000th career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels hits a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners that would be his 3,000th career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels smiles on base after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels smiles on base after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

  • SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels (middle) celebrates with teammates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WA – MAY 04: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels (middle) celebrates with teammates after hitting a single in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners to reach 3,000 career hits during their game at Safeco Field on May 4, 2018 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE — Garrett Richards clearly made the right mechanical adjustments in between starts.

After tweaking his delivery in the wake of an ugly outing, Richards responded by tossing 6-2/3 innings in the Angels’ 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

While Albert Pujols’ 3,000th hit was the most significant historical moment in the game, in the scope of the Angels season Richards’ performance can not be overlooked.

Richards, the Angels’ most experienced starter, likely needs to perform to his potential if the team is going to contend. So far this season, he had been inconsistent, hitting a low point by allowing nine runs (five earned) against the New York Yankees last week.

That led to some extra work with pitching coach Charlie Nagy.

“Me and Nags, in between starts the last couple weeks, have been ironing out some things and getting me back in the zone,” Richards said. “It’s rhythm and tempo and mechanical stuff. My mindset is still there. I’m trying to attack guys and fill up the zone and get ahead in counts. Nothing’s changed as far as that goes, just really kind of finding a happy medium with my tempo going toward the plate to help me be a little more consistent.”

After “simplifying” his delivery, he said, and using a little less effort to improve his control, he dominated a Mariners team that had scored 44 runs in its previous seven games.

Richards gave up four singles, two of which didn’t make it out of the infield. He struck out eight and walked one, after averaging more than six walks per nine innings so far this season.

Richards needed only 86 pitches to get 20 outs, a performance that was far more efficient than the work he or the other Angels starters had been providing this season.

“I thought Garrett was great,” Manager Mike Scioscia said. “I thought once he found his release point. He was in the zone the way we know he can be… It’s a good game for Garrett and hopefully it gets him to be that consistent pitcher that he is. His stuff is great. Tonight he had command of it.”

Justin Anderson got the final out of the seventh and three in the eighth before Jim Johnson finished off the Angels’ fourth consecutive victory.

Thanks to the pitching – and three double plays – the Angels didn’t need any more than the two runs they got in the fourth inning. Andrelton Simmons drove in one with a single and another scored on a double play, as the Angels didn’t get much of a bases-loaded, no-out situation.

In the fifth, Shohei Ohtani drove in a run with a double, his second hit of the game.

The Angels also wasted a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the eighth, when Kole Calhoun struck out and René Rivera broke his bat on a dribbler that the Mariners converted into a double play.

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