Mariners inch closer to wild card, sweep series with the Angels

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SEATTLE, WA - JUNE 28: Dae-Ho Lee #10, left, of the Seattle Mariners congratulates Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners after Cruz hit a two-run home run off of starting pitcher Jonathon Niese #18 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning of a game at Safeco Field on June 28, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

SEATTLE – James Paxton took a four-hitter into ninth inning before he was forced from the game after being hit on the left arm by a line drive, and the Seattle Marinersbeat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Sunday.

Mike Freeman, making his Mariners debut after being called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Tacoma, had his first two major league hits, including an RBI single to cap a three-run fourth inning.

Paxton (4-5) was on the verge of his first career complete game when he was hit with one out in the ninth by the line drive from Andrelton Simmons, who reached on the infield single.

Tom Wilhelmsen got the final two outs for his first save. Paxton struck out six with one walk in 8 1/3 innings.

Matt Shoemaker (6-12) allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings, striking out three, but hitting three batters.

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