PAXTON STRIKES OUT 10 IN DOMINANT PERFORMANCE
What happened: James Paxton allowed just four singles and struck out 10 over seven innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 4-0 in the first of a three-game series at Safeco Field on Monday.
Paxton was rarely challenged as he cruised through the Boston batting order. He didn’t allow a hit until Jackie Bradley’s single with one out in the fifth inning, and he then struck out the next two for emphasis.
Paxton’s only trouble came with one out in the sixth, when Brock Holt reached on an error by Danny Valencia, then Mookie Betts singled to left. But Paxton got Andrew Benintendi and Dustin Pedroia – both swinging – to end the threat.
Paxton won his fifth game in July, the first Mariner to win five in a month since Jason Vargas in 2012. He has worked six-plus innings and allowed two runs or less in all five July outings. Paxton also became the first Mariners’ left-hander with 10 wins in a season since Roenis Elias in 2014.
Kyle Seager hit a solo home run, his 14th overall for the season, and Ben Gamel had two hits and scored twice.
- After two 1-2-3 innings with three strikeouts from Paxton, the M’s got on the board first when Kyle Seager went deep off Rodriguez to center leading off the second inning for his 14th homer of the season measured at 415 feet.
- With one down in the frame, Ben Gamel’s grounder stayed inside the first base line and went into the corner for a stand-up triple. Gamel the beat the throw home and scored on Guillermo Heredia’s bouncer to first. After Mike Zunino struck out, Jean Segura muscled one into the right-center gap and Heredia chugged home from first to make it 3-0.
- Paxton made a nice play on a comebacker from Christian Vazquez that almost took his head off in the third.
- M’s added to the lead in the fourth. Gamel led off with a single and went to second with one out (after another Zunino K) when Segura was hit on the big toe. Danny Valencia followed with a double off the wall in right to score Gamel and Segura limped into third, though he was stranded by Robinson Cano’s lineout.
- Paxton ran into his first spate of trouble in the sixth, when he had two down with two on and Dustin Pedroia up. But Paxton got the All-Star second baseman to swing wildly at a ball in the dirt for strike three to end the inning.
Paxton was on top of his game. He tied his career-high in Ks and really didn’t have to work too hard to get it. The Red Sox were flailing all day at his curve and Paxton it all his spots with his fastball. Is he transcending?
Players of the Game
Hero: James Paxton. Enough said.
Goat: Robinson Cano. 0 for 4, K, three LOB.
- Paxton has not allowed a home run in five straight starts, working six-plus innings in each of those outings.
- He is first Mariner to not surrender a home run in five-or-more consecutive starts of six-plus innings pitched since Felix Hernandez did so in 2015
- Paxton recorded his fourth start this season of at least seven scoreless innings, tied with four others for the most in the Majors this season.
- With a scoreless appearance, Nick Vincent has not allowed a run in 23 consecutive appearances at Safeco field (26 innings). His streak is second-longest single season streak in club history, trailing George Sherrill in 2007.
Boston Red Sox (55-46) at Seattle Mariners (50-51) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.88) hosts Drew Pomeranz (10-4, 3.51).
What others are saying (and writing)
Paxton's superb outing moved the Mariners back within a game of the .500 mark. … There are rumors out there the M's are talking with the A's about starting pitcher Sonny Gray. Here is one vote for the deal being made. … Speaking of trades for starting pitchers, Marco Gonzales had a solid outing for Tacoma yesterday. … With Espinoza signed and on the roster, Taylor Motter was sent back to Tacoma.
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