Detroit pushed across two eighth-inning runs off James Paxton on an infield hit (Mike Aviles) and a sacrifice fly (James McCann) to break a 2-2 tie and beat the Mariners 4-2 Tuesday night at Comerica Park (box). Seattle (36-35) has lost three in a row and four of six. Two consolations for the Mariners: Texas lost to Cincinnati, leaving Seattle 9.5 games back in the AL West, and Kansas City fell to the Mets, keeping the Mariners within 2.5 games of the second wild-card spot.
Paxton (1-3, 3.34) pitched well, allowing two runs over seven innings while striking out five in his matchup with Justin Verlander, but couldn’t prevent the Tigers from manufacturing the winning runs.
Paxton induced a ground-ball out by Miguel Cabrera to open the eighth, but ceded a single to Victor Martinez and a double to Nick Castellanos. After issuing an intentional walk to Justin Upton, who had the walk-off homer Monday night, Paxton was nicked for a dribbler by Aviles that scored pinch runner Andrew Romine. McCann’s sacrifice fly plated Castellanos.
One night after collecting a career-high four hits, Ketel Marte went 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to .284 . . . Kyle Seager hit his 15th home run, a two-run shot in the sixth, for a 2-0 lead. Seager is hitting .269 with 48 RBIs . . . Seager’s homer enabled the Mariners to extend to 14 their streak of games with a home run, the second-longest run in the majors this season . . . Seattle has105 homers, third-highest total . . . The Mariners had a season-high 19 hits Monday and came back with eight Tuesday, but went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven.
Paxton allowed four runs on 11 hits in 7.2 innings and walked three among his 110 pitches, 71 for strikes. He became the first Seattle starter to pitch into the eighth inning since Hisashi Iwakuma June 5. Paxton limited Detroit to a 3-for-8 mark with runners in scoring position.
“That was an awesome job by James Paxton, by far his best effort of the season. We tried to ride him as long as we could, but they got some runs in from third base (eighth inning). We got the home run from Seager (sixth inning) and I hoped that would be enough, but Detroit is a good club. Paxton was on top of his game the whole night. If we keep pitching like that, I’ll take that every night. Paxton’s back.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
“i was able to go deep into the game and they capitalized on a situation there in the eighth. I was trying to attack these guys and be really aggressive.” — Paxton.
The Mariners have lost 17 of their last 25, fell to 21-17 on the road and 2-6 on this 10-game road trip . . . Mariners are 6-9 vs. the AL Central . . . Mariners are 12-8-3 in overall series, including 7-2-2 on the road . . . Only two Mariners, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz, are receiving All-Star consideration in the latest fan balloting. Cano (1,004,620) is second among AL second basemen to Houston’s Jose Altuve (1,606, 705), and Cruz is fifth among DHs with 634,210. Two former Mariners, David Ortiz of Boston (2,612,215) and Kendrys Morales of Kansas City (861,030) rank 1-2 among DHs.
The third in the four-game series is 4:10 p.m. Wednesday. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5, 4.18) will pitch for Seattle opposite RHP Michael Fulmer (7-2, 2.43). The Mariners wbegin a three-game series at Safeco Field Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Paxton pitched a helluva game. Getting tired of guys getting taken out when the hit their magic number. More starters need to get into the 7th and even the 8th like he did. Relying too much on homers, not good clutch hitting lately. Our outfield.defense other than Martin is marginal at best.
The M’s hit the tougher part of the schedule and have not yet made the gear change. The starters need more length on their starts. And the situational hitting has to improve. They are again failing to move runners up and leaving them on base creating one run losses which should be one run wins. Like the Cardinals, the M’s have outscored opponents by about 50 runs but don’t have the wins to show. The Giants have fewer net runs but have had many 7, 8 and 9 inning starts and a lot of close wins.
Regression to the mean. It’s the Mariner way.
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