Cruz’s 300th HR, Paxton’s pitching pace Mariners past A’s
SEATTLE (AP) — Nelson Cruz hit his 300th home run and drove in five, James Paxton allowed two hits over seven innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 7-2 on Friday night.
Cruz’s three-run drive off Liam Hendricks put Seattle up 6-2 during a four-run eighth. Cruz also had RBI singles in the first and third as Seattle snapped a four-game skid.
Paxton (7-3) did not allow a hit after Marcus Semien’s two-run double in the second. The left-hander matched a season high with nine strikeouts while walking three and hitting a batter. Nick Vincent pitched a perfect eighth, and Mark Rzepczynski and Steve Cishek finished.
Paxton has won consecutive starts after losing three of four and struggling in his return from the disabled list in May.
Sean Manaea (7-5) gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings. Manaea, 6-1 in his previous nine starts, struck out three and walked one.
Cruz’s homer was his 16th. Danny Valencia had three hits and scored twice for Seattle, and Mitch Haniger had two hits.
CANO NAMED AN ALL-STAR
Mariners 2B Robinson Cano was named Friday to the All-Star team as an injury replacement. It is his eighth career selection and third with the Mariners. Cano entered Friday hitting .279 with 13 doubles, 17 homers and 60 RBIs.
Seattle recalled RHP Emilio Pagan from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday and optioned RHP Sam Gaviglio to Tacoma.
Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt, on the 60-day DL following Tommy John surgery, could join the A’s in a relief role at some point, manager Bob Melvin said. Bassitt pitched one inning Thursday night on a rehab start with Class A Stockton. “As far as options of getting him here this year, it might be in a relief-type role and I think he’s got a chance to be really effective doing that, as well,” Melvin said.
Mariners: INF Shawn O’Malley, on the 60-day DL recovering from appendix surgery, is scheduled to begin his rehab Friday or Saturday as DH in an Arizona League game, with an August return possible. … RHP Shae Simmons (elbow), acquired in an offseason trade with Atlanta, could join the Mariners after the All-Star break.
Athletics: Chris Smith is set to make his first major league start at 36 years old, which would make him the oldest pitcher in A’s history to make his big league starting debut. Smith has made 164 minor league starts and 64 relief appearances in the majors, including 13 last season with Oakland.
Mariners: Right-hander Andrew Moore (1-1, 3.60) makes his third major league start. He has allowed three runs in each of his two starts, lasting seven and then eight innings. Moore has given up three home runs.