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Brandon Maurer struggles again, fails to pitch 5 innings for Mariners' 7-5 loss to Angels

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SEATTLE - Brandon Maurer isn't pitching well, and the Mariners might be ready to do something about it.

Maurer lasted just four innings in the Seattle Mariners' 7-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.

The right-hander allowed five runs and six hits and four walks. He failed to reach the fifth inning for the fifth time in seven starts this season. Seattle has won just two of Maurer's seven starts.

"I agree he has struggled," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "When you look at options, you have to sit down and make sure you have a viable option. That is something Jack (Zduriencik, general manager) and I will talk about and see where we go from here. If there is something we can do to get him straightened out."

Maurer (1-4) laboured to keep the game close early, but Erick Aybar tagged him for a two-out, three-run home run in the fourth to give the Angels a 5-0 lead.

"Today was a good improvement," Maurer said. "The numbers might not show it, but I definitely felt better than I ever have out there."

The Mariners were stymied by Matt Shoemaker (3-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday. Shoemaker set down the side in order four times in 5 1-3 innings. He allowed three runs on four hits, equaled a career-high six strikeouts and did not walk a batter for the first time in five career starts.

James Jones dropped a double in front of a diving Mike Trout in centre field to lead off the fourth for Seattle's first hit. One out later, Michael Saunders lined a two-run home run to right, cutting the deficit to 5-2.

"We were able to use all four pitches effectively, be able to throw them for strikes, get ahead of them," Shoemaker said. "Definitely a confidence builder. Just knowing I'm able to pitch at this level."

Seattle threatened in the ninth when Kyle Seager hit a two-run home run, but closer Ernesto Frieri came on to record two outs for his eighth save in 10 chances.

Los Angeles took a quick lead in the first when Trout's sacrifice fly to right field scored Kole Calhoun. Trout drove in another run in the sixth with a sharp single up the middle, but the Angels, leading 6-2, were unable to blow the game open, as Seattle reliever Dominic Leone got two quick outs to leave a pair of runners stranded.

Aybar, Trout and C.J. Cron each had three hits for the Angels, who had 15 hits, the fourth time in a week the club has had at least 11 hits in a game and its most in a game since having 16 against the Yankees on April 25.

NOTES: OF Josh Hamilton, who sustained a bone bruise to his injured left thumb during a rehab assignment on May 22, worked out and took batting practice with the Angels. If all goes well, Hamilton is expected to join Triple-A Salt Lake in Tacoma on Friday. ... Mariners 2B Robinson Cano didn't feel well Thursday and was a late scratch. Stefen Romero replaced Cano in the lineup at DH and Nick Franklin moved to second base. ... RHP Taijuan Walker, on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder impingement, said he felt good after his first rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday and expects to throw a bullpen on Friday. "It's sore, obviously, it's sore," Walker said. "It's the normal soreness in the right spots. Sore in the right spots. It's nothing bad. I felt like I pitched yesterday."

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