Luis Rengifo hit a pair of home runs for the second time in three games, Livan Soto went deep for the first time and the Los Angeles Angels won their third in a row over the wild card-chasing Seattle Mariners, 5-1 on Sunday.
Seeking their first playoff appearance since 2001, the longest dought in the major leaguers, the Mariners (80-64) saw their lead for the third and final AL wild card berth cut to four games over Baltimore (76-69).
Toronto (83-64) and Tampa Bay (82-64) hold the first two wild card spots.
Los Angeles won the season series from Seattle 10-8. The teams play again Monday.
After his first multihomer game on Friday, Rengifo has gone deep four times in the series and 15 times this season.
He got his first career leadoff homer, a drive off Marco Gonzales (10-14), and broke a 1-1 tie in the third with a two-run drive that followed Soto’s single for his first big league hit.
Soto went 2 for 3 in his first start, a day after entering as a pinch runner and grounding out in his debut.
Adam Frazier hit a tying single in the second following Dylan Moore’s two-out double.
Soto, called up for the first time Saturday when David Fletcher went on the injured list, gave the Angels a 5-1 lead in the seventh inning with a two-run homer down the right-field line.
Reid Detmers (6-5) gave up one run and four hits in six innings, and three relievers finished a six-hitter.
Gonzales (10-14) gave up five runs and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He allowed three homers for the fourth time this season.
Mariners: OF Julio Rodríguez missed his second straight game because of lower back tightness. “I just feel like a few days’ rest is going to be the best thing for it, especially right now,” Rodriguez said. “It’s better to be cautious with it.” ... OF Mitch Haniger went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts after missing four consecutive games with lower back tightness.
Angels: RHP Archie Bradley (elbow) pitched a second-consecutive scoreless inning during a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (12-6, 3.19 ERA) has given up one run over 17 innings of three September starts.
Angels: LHP Jose Suarez (6-6, 3.77) has a 2.30 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings against Seattle this season.
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