Sep 18, 3:13 AM EDT

Mariners get 1 hit, lose 5-0 to West champ Angels


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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners were powerless to stop the Los Angeles Angels from clinching a playoff spot and the AL West title over the past three days.

They can only hope their wild-card hopes still have some life after their latest punchless loss to the division champions.

C.J. Wilson and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, and the Angels clinched the AL West about an hour after their 5-0 victory over Seattle on Wednesday night.

Rookie left-hander James Paxton (6-3) yielded four hits and had eight strikeouts for the Mariners, who have lost six of eight in the middle of a playoff race. Seattle fell two games behind Kansas City and Oakland for the second AL wild card.

"It's tough, but games like this happen," Paxton said. "That's just the way baseball works. Sometimes the other teams get the breaks. We just put this game behind us, come out here tomorrow, put our best on the field. There's time left here for us to gain some ground on those guys. It's not over `til it's over."

Paxton matched Wilson in a pitchers' duel until the seventh, when the Angels mounted a five-run rally. Howie Kendrick scored the first run from first base when Chris Denorfia misplayed David Freese's single to right for an error, and C.J. Cron followed later with a three-run homer off Danny Farquhar.

The major league-leading Angels (95-57) wrapped up their first division crown since 2009 when Oakland lost to Texas. The Angels watched the game in their clubhouse, and the Mariners had left the building by the time the champs took the field to celebrate with their fans.

"They've won so many games in such a short amount of time, and it's really a credit to every guy," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who won his sixth AL West title in the last 11 seasons. "We're going to enjoy the champagne and then go try to win tomorrow."

Wilson (13-9) earned his third straight victory in intimidating fashion, striking out seven and allowing just Justin Smoak's single and three walks in a major improvement from recent starts. He escaped his only jam in the seventh, stranding two runners.

Paxton kept the Mariners in contention until his teammates made two errors and Farquhar flopped in the seventh inning.

After Kendrick's one-out single, Denorfia thought about diving to catch Freese's drive, but instead pulled up and allowed it to roll past him to the right-field wall. Austin Jackson then double-clutched the ball while retrieving it, and Kendrick scored easily.

"It's a tough play," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. "But first of all, you've got to give C.J. Wilson a lot of credit. He matched Paxton pitch for pitch. They were outstanding. I thought Paxton threw a heck of a ballgame for 6 2-3 (innings), and then things fell apart for us."

Farquhar relieved Paxton with two outs and two runners on, but Cron mashed his 11th homer into the fake rock pile behind center field. Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI double as the Angels batted around.

Paxton was even more dominant than Wilson, retiring 17 of the Angels' first 18 hitters. Paxton allowed only two bouncing singles in the first six innings while striking out Mike Trout three times.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias headed back to Seattle for an MRI after feeling stiffness in his elbow. McClendon said Elias is probably done for the season.

Angels: Josh Hamilton was out of the starting lineup after feeling a bit sore following his return from a shoulder injury Tuesday. The cleanup hitter likely wouldn't have started anyway against a tough left-hander.

UP NEXT

Two aces meet in the series finale when Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (14-5, 2.14 ERA) takes on Jered Weaver (17-8, 3.50).

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