Paxton, Cruz pace Mariners past Mets, 9-1
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 pinch-hit 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.
OF Leonys Martin was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday to replace OF Mitch Haniger, who was placed on the 10-day DL after being hit in the face with a pitch on Saturday. Martin, who hit .247 last season as the Mariners regular centerfielder, was sent down in late April after hitting .111 in 15 games. “It only took a little bit of time to get my confidence back, to get my feel back at home plate. So, I’m good to go,” Martin said. Martin hit .312 in 84 games at Tacoma. He started Sunday for Seattle, playing right field and batting ninth. . RHP Erasomo Ramirez, acquired from Tampa on Friday, was added to the active roster. . RHP Cody Martin was optioned to Tacoma after Saturday’s game. . INF D.J. Peterson, hitting .264 with 12 homers and 54 RBI at Tacoma, was designated for assignment.
RHP AJ Ramos, acquired by the Mets on Friday in a trade with Miami, pitched the eighth inning , allowing two runs on two hits, with a walk and two wild pitches.
Mets: After an off day Monday, LHP Steven Matz (2-4, 5.51) opens a three-game series at Colorado as New York wraps up a 10-game road swing. Matz is 0-3 with a 14.18 ERA over his last four starts, allowing 21 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4, 4.08) opens a three-game series at Texas, kicking off a nine-game road trip. Seattle has a seven-game homestand in mid-August, then back on the road for the final 12 games in August. Hernandez is 3-2 with a 3.67 ERA in seven starts since coming off the DL. Cole Hamels (5-1, 3.97 starts for the Rangers.
Mets: SS Jose Reyes left the game after getting hit in the left arm with a 98 mph fastball from Paxton with two outs in the fifth inning.
Mariners: OF Mitch Haniger, placed on the 10-day DL, is expected to miss at least a couple weeks after suffering a mouth laceration when he was hit by a 95 mph fastball from the Mets Jacob deGrom on Saturday. “He looks like pretty rough, like he went about 10 rounds with Mike Tyson,” manager Scott Servais said. “He’s doing OK. His spirits are good. He knows he’s lucky. It could have been a lot worse.”