Mariners march past Mets
SEATTLE » James Paxton tossed six scoreless innings, becoming the first Mariners pitcher to win six games in a single month, and Nelson Cruz had a three-run homer to pace Seattle to a 9-1 win over the New York Mets on Sunday.
Cruz provided Paxton with an early cushion with a three-run shot in the first inning and Leonys Martin, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A, homered in his first at-bat and saved a possible run with a diving catch in right field.
Paxton (11-3) had runners aboard in each of his six innings. The lefthander scattered six hits, striking out eight and walking none, with two hit batters in a 108-pitch outing. Paxton, sidelined most of May with a left forearm strain, was 6-0 in six July starts, allowing six earned runs in 39 1/3 innings with no home runs.
Emilio Pagan retired all six batters he faced before James Pazos allowed a run in the ninth on three consecutive two-out singles.
Seth Lugo (5-3) allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings, striking out five and walking none.
Cruz put the Mariners up 3-0 with his 21st homer, giving him an AL-best 79 RBI. Jean Segura and Robinson Cano had consecutive one-out singles and Cruz launched a 1-2 pitch into the second deck in left for his first home run since July 17.
The Mariners added two runs in the second. Martin, sent down after hitting .111 in 15 games to start the season, hit his first homer to right with one out. Ben Gamel then extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a triple when leftfielder Yoenis Cespedes lost his opposite-field fly ball in the sun. Gamel scored on Robinson Cano’s two-out double.
Seattle scored a run in the sixth on Gamel’s RBI single, and made it 7-0 in the seventh on Danny Valencia’s sacrifice fly.
The Mariners added two more in the eighth on a run-scoring throwing error by second baseman Neil Walker, and a pinchhit RBI single by Danny Espinosa.
The Mets threatened in the second when Wilmer Flores singled with one out and Walker was hit by a pitch. Martin, the Mariners regular centerfielder in 2016, prevented a run with a diving grab of Curtis Granderson’s sinking liner to right.
The Mariners’ Leonys Martin, center, rounds the bases as Mets starting pitcher Seth Lugo looks on on Sunday.