After a rare loss by Jered Weaver, the Los Angeles Angels heard from manager Mike Scioscia.
Scioscia held a 20-minute team meeting Sunday after Jesus Montero homered twice off the major league ERA leader and helped the Seattle Mariners beat the Angels 4-1.
"I'm not going to talk about specifics, but what I said is that sometimes you just have to have perspective of not how far you are to your goal — but how close you are to it," Scioscia said. "We're going to have time to reach our goal if we get back to playing the way we can, and we're not that far away from where we need to be.
"I think it's important for us to keep that perspective," he said.. "Some guys are doing what we need them to do, and there are some that need to get into their game. That's what we're going to focus on. We're going to be within striking distance of our goal with one good week, and it's going to start tomorrow with the first pitch."
The loss was the Angels' eighth in 11 games and dropped them a season-worst eight games behind the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.
"We haven't won too many series in the second half," first baseman Albert Pujols said. "That was one thing we were doing so well the last five or six weeks before the All-Star break. But now I don't remember the last time we won a series.
"It's been a tough couple weeks for us, there's still a lot of baseball left. I've been in this situation with St. Louis when we were far back and you guys know how that came out. You play 162 games, so nothing is impossible," he said.
Weaver (15-2) had won nine straight outings. He fell one shy of Chuck Finley's 1997 franchise record for consecutive starts won.
"I thought I threw the ball real well, but obviously a couple of mistakes cost me," he said. "I made bad pitches and Montero put them were he was supposed to. I was just trying to stay away from him for the most part. He's one of those guys who has my number today, so I'll try to pitch him differently next time."
Jason Vargas (13-8), who was Weaver's teammate at Long Beach State, allowed a run and seven hits over 8 1-3 innings. The left-hander gave up a one-out triple in the ninth by Howie Kendrick before Tom Wilhelmsen came in and got the final two outs for his 16th save in 18 chances.
Montero hit a solo homer in the second that landed barely beyond the fence and just over the glove of center fielder Mike Trout, who robbed Miguel Olivo of a homer in the Mariners' 7-4 win Saturday night. That was Seattle's only hit until the sixth, when John Jaso singled with two out and Montero sent a drive into the lower seats in the left-field corner for his 12th of the season.
It was the second multihomer game in the majors for the former Yankee, who hit two against Baltimore's Jim Johnson last Sept. 5 at New York in just his fourth big league contest. It also marked the first time Weaver gave up two home runs in a game to the same player since Oct. 1, 2010, when the Rangers' Mitch Moreland hit a pair of solo shots off him in Texas.
"Weaver throws across his body and he makes good pitches, so it's not easy to face him," Montero said. "You just have to wait for the ball and think middle, middle all the time. That was my approach today."
Weaver was charged with three runs, four hits and three walks in seven innings and struck out five. It was only the second time in the right-hander's last 13 starts that he allowed more than two earned runs.
"I tried to keep us in the game, but the two-run homer hurt," Weaver said. "There's no excuse for giving up a home run there, but you can't hang your head too much because that's going to happen during the course of the game. You've just got to move on to the next one."
Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher was ejected by plate umpire Mike Estabrook just three batters into the game for complaining too loudly from the dugout about a second straight borderline pitch by Weaver that was called a ball — resulting in a walk to Kyle Seager.
NOTES: Former Angel Chone Figgins, who singled as a pinch-hitter for Mike Carp in the sixth inning, drove in Seattle's final run with a ninth-inning triple against Ernesto Frieri. ... Weaver was 6-0 with a 2.23 ERA and 26 strikeouts in six starts during July, but Vargas beat him out for AL pitcher of the month honors with a 5-0 record, a 1.64 ERA and 26 strikeouts in six starts.