SEATTLE — As Mike Scioscia always preaches, if the Angels are going to get where they want to go, they need to be more than Mike Trout.
On Friday night, the Seattle Mariners walked Trout three times, and the players behind him picked up the slack in the Angels’ 6-5 victory.
Three hitters immediately behind Trout combined for six hits: three for Albert Pujols, one for C.J. Cron and two for Andrelton Simmons. They drove in four of the runs.
The go-ahead run scored in the ninth, after Trout walked, Pujols singled and Cron hit a bouncer that shortstop Jean Segura booted.
The Angels have won four in a row and 10 of 14. They are now 59-58, just a half-game behind the Minnesota Twins for the second AL wild card. They are tied with the Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays.
Their latest victory was the product of a rally from a 5-1 deficit on a night when Ricky Nolasco got roughed up again.
In the seventh inning, the Angels scored four runs, all with two outs.
Cameron Maybin’s two-out chopper would have ended the inning, but it was bobbled by Robinson Cano, and ruled an infield hit. Andrew Moore then pitched around Trout, walking him on four pitches, to load the bases.
Pujols followed a two-strike single into center field, driving in two. Cron yanked a single into left, knocking in one more. Finally, Simmons pulled a double into left, with Pujols chugging around third to score the tying run.
The rally took Nolasco off the hook after he gave up five runs in five-plus innings.
In the second inning, after the Angels had given him a 1-0 lead on a Jefry Marte homer, Nolasco fell behind, 3-and-0, to Nelson Cruz. He then dumped a fastball right over the middle, and Cruz was swinging. He blasted it over the fence in center, tying the game.
After a couple scoreless innings, Nolasco gave up a two-run homer to Mike Zunino in the fifth. That came on a hanging 2-and-1 slider, and Zunino hit it 450 feet, into the upper deck in left.
Nolasco has now allowed 30 homers, which is his career high and the most in the majors this season.
In the sixth, he gave up back-to-back doubles to Cano and Nelson Cruz to start the inning, and then he was pulled. Cruz ended up scoring a fifth run, charged to Nolasco, after his night was over.
If there is any hope to be found in Nolasco’s season, it’s that he showed just last year he could turn around a rough four-plus months and finish strong.
In 2016, Nolasco had a 5.13 ERA after 24 starts, most of them with the Minnesota Twins. Over his last…