ANAHEIM -- In trying to keep pace with the Texas Rangers in the race for the American League West crown, the Angels can ill afford nights like the one they encountered on Saturday against the last-place Mariners.
For a second straight night, the Halos' bats were largely held in check. But with rookie Tyler Chatwood on the mound instead of staff ace Jered Weaver, they were unable to overcome their absent offense.
Chatwood gave up a pair of two-out runs in both the first and third innings, and Seattle starter Blake Beavan limited Los Angeles to one run in eight innings, as the Mariners secured a 5-1 win in front of 42,107 at Angel Stadium.
The loss also came on a night when the Angels could have pulled even with the Rangers atop the division, as Texas blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning and lost to the Cleveland Indians.
"Give those guys credit, they had four two-out hits," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was a big difference in the ballgame. They got the lead, and their guy was able to pitch with some leeway early. We had some chances to chip away and couldn't take advantage of it. It ended up costing us as the game went on."
Shut out in the Halos' extra-inning win the night before, the Mariners wasted no time jumping on Chatwood. Ichiro Suzuki singled to lead off the game and then stole second with one out to set the table for the heart of the M's lineup.
After issuing a free pass to Dustin Ackley to put runners on first and second, Chatwood was on his way to escaping early trouble when Adam Kennedy came to the plate with two outs. But two-out pitching wasn't a comfortable scenario for Chatwood much of the night, and Kennedy crushed an errant 3-2 fastball to the left-center-field gap for a two-run double.
Following the loss, Scioscia pointed to Chatwood losing Kennedy as one of the pivotal moments of the game.
"There were a couple of at-bats there that I thought were key," Scioscia said. "I think the fact that he couldn't put Adam Kennedy away in the first inning after [he] got to a 1-2 count and couldn't finish him off, there was a key at-bat there where he couldn't finish.
"He needs to tighten up, if he's going to take that next step forward in his Major League career. Just a lot of two-out hits today, and maybe on pitches where they weren't quite where they should be."
The Mariners added two more runs in the third, as Chatwood continued to struggle to get the final out of the inning. Designated hitter Mike Carp's two-out double drove home Jack Wilson to push the M's up, 3-0, and Miguel Olivo later added an RBI single to give Seattle a four-run lead.
"It's frustrating, especially with two outs and two strikes and [for them to] get hits like that," said Chatwood, who gave up five runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. "I felt fine. I felt really good out there tonight, [but] they just hit some good pitches tonight. I didn't execute some, and they took advantage of it."
Chatwood recovered from his early struggles to hold Seattle in check over the next three innings. The emergence of a dynamic changeup -- a pitch he hesitated to use in the early innings -- was the key to Chatwood's success through the middle innings. He said he didn't throw his change early because he wasn't comfortable using one of his lesser pitches in situations with men on base.
"Early in the game, [I] didn't really have a situation to call for it with those runners in scoring position," Chatwood said. "I didn't want to get beat with [my] third best pitch, so [I went] after them with [my] best two pitches."
Chatwood can take solace in the fact that anything less than a shutout wouldn't have helped the Halos' cause against Beavan. In seven of his eight losses this season, the Angels have failed to give Chatwood a single run of support.
Seattle's 6-foot-8 right-hander stymied the Angels for a second time this year -- Beavan permitted two runs in 6 1/3 innings of a July 8 no-decision -- holding them to only a Bobby Wilson RBI single in the seventh.
"It helped a lot facing these guys the second time," Beavan said. "A lot of people told me it would be a different story after these guys had already had a look at [me]. But all in all, it's really just about locating pitches."
Beavan wasn't necessarily dominant on the mound, scattering eight hits over the course of the night and failing to register a single 1-2-3 inning until the bottom of the eighth. While Scioscia didn't take away from anything Beavan did on the mound, he said he thought the Angels swung the bat better than the one run showed. The Angels, in Scioscia's mind, positioned themselves to chip away at the lead, but couldn't get over the hump when they put runners in scoring position.
Los Angeles went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position, including Erick Aybar's inning-ending double play with two on in the third.
"Those guys made some plays on the defensive end, they turned a big double play that Erick hit the ball hard into the four-hole," Scioscia said.
Bobby Abreu moved past Tony Gwynn on the all-time doubles list when he belted a two-out double in the sixth inning for the 544th of his career. Abreu is No. 3 among active players, trailing only Todd Helton and Ivan Rodriguez.
David Ely is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.