ANAHEIM -- Felix Hernandez threw everything he had at the Angels on Sunday, but his American League West rivals continued to be a thorn in The King's side with a 2-1 victory, despite one of his stronger performances of the season.
Hernandez gave up just four hits, with no walks and 12 strikeouts, but again had no luck against the Angels and received little support from an offense that started a season-high five rookie position players.
"It's tough," Mariners manager Eric Wedge acknowledged of the influx of youth. "We've got a lot of young position players up here. We've got to keep throwing them out there and letting them learn on the job.
"You look where we were Opening Day and some of the guys we were counting on and where we are now, they're worlds apart," Wedge said. "But we've got guys here who are working to get better and we will get better."
Ervin Santana shut out the Mariners for 8 1/3 innings before rookie Mike Carp launched a home run in the ninth. Angels closer Jordan Walden then came on to get the final two outs for his 25th save.
Hernandez has historically struggled against the Angels. He's 4-9 with a 4.01 ERA in 23 career starts and hasn't beaten the Halos since Sept. 2, 2009, going 0-4 with a 3.29 ERA in eight starts since.
He's not been alone in his struggles, as Seattle is now 3-18 at Angel Stadium over its last 21 games in Anaheim.
Outside of one pitch, Hernandez was perfect for six innings on Sunday. Unfortunately, that one toss turned into a 471-foot blast by rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo leading off the third.
Trumbo, who leads all Major League rookies with 22 home runs, now has two off of Hernandez in six at-bats this season. Sunday's bomb was the longest recorded this season at Angel Stadium.
"He can hit it as far as anybody I've seen," said Angels skipper Mike Scioscia. "That ball was properly struck, no doubt about it."
Even that pitch wasn't a bad one, according to Hernandez, who said his command was as good as it's been all year.
"I thought even the one to Trumbo was a pretty good pitch, fastball down and in," said Hernandez, now 10-10 with a 3.31 ERA. "Jeesh, I knew it was gone. I just looked up to see how far it was going to go. And it was pretty far."
Hernandez otherwise breezed until the Angels heated things up in the seventh with back-to-back singles by Howard Kendrick and Torii Hunter, with Hunter's coming on a perfect hit-and-run, as his ball zipped through the shortstop hole vacated by Jack Wilson as he went over to cover second.
Vernon Wells then drove in Kendrick with a single to left before Hernandez slammed the door.
But the Mariners did little to threaten Santana, who now has a 0.79 ERA over his last four starts, including a no-hitter against the Indians.
Seattle totaled seven hits, three coming from Carp as he extended his hitting streak to eight games. Carp is batting .367 with 15 RBIs in 17 games since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on July 19.
Rookie third baseman Kyle Seager recorded his first multi-hit game by going 2-for-3, and raised his average to .167 in 30 at-bats. The other three rookie starters -- Dustin Ackley, Casper Wells and Trayvon Robinson -- were a combined 0-for-11, but Hernandez declined to blame the team's youth for its struggles.
"We have pretty good talent over here, young guys who can hit," he said. "It's just part of the game. Santana threw a pretty good game, too. You have to give him credit."
The Mariners wasted their best opportunity against Santana in the third inning, when they put runners at the corners following one-out singles by Seager and Ichiro Suzuki.
Wilson -- starting at shortstop for a third straight day for the injured Brendan Ryan -- laid down a bunt that Santana fielded to his left and threw out Seager at the plate.
"Jack was just trying to do a little push-bunt there, and it was too much toward the pitcher," Wedge said. "They broke to the plate and made a good throw and got him. It was just Jack trying to make something happen right there."
Wilson said he thought he'd made a good play, but Santana got to the ball quicker than expected.
"I was just trying to get it to the right side of the field and get him in and 'Ichi' to second. It just didn't work out that way," Wilson said. "It just needed to be more down the line. I was surprised. I thought when I bunted we were good to go. I figured I'd be out at first, but he got over there really quick and made a good throw. Obviously I needed a better bunt."
Santana then got Ackley on a pop fly that shortstop Erick Aybar fielded with a nice over-the-shoulder catch down the left-field line, and the Mariners never threatened again until Carp's home run, his third of the season.