EditorsNote: Editors: adds word ‘in’ before ‘the ninth’ in fifth graf
Wade LeBlanc allowed two hits in 7 2/3 scoreless innings as the host Seattle Mariners defeated the Boston Red Sox 1-0 Saturday night at Safeco Field.
LeBlanc (3-0) didn’t walk a batter and struck out a season-high nine, one shy of his career best of 10 set Sept. 23, 2011, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, when the left-hander was a member of the San Diego Padres.
LeBlanc allowed a leadoff single to Mookie Betts in the first inning, but then got Andrew Benintendi to ground into a double play. That started a streak of 22 consecutive batters retired by LeBlanc until Eduardo Nunez poked a two-out single into right field with two outs in the eighth.
Right-hander Alex Colome replaced LeBlanc and got pinch hitter Mitch Moreland to pop out to third base to end the inning.
Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth, getting Betts to end it, for his major league-leading 27th save of the season.
LeBlanc, 33, in his second stint with the Mariners, hasn’t lost in 17 starts for Seattle, tied for the fourth-longest such streak for a pitcher starting his tenure with a team in the live ball era. LeBlanc is tied with former New York Yankees pitcher Jim Coates (17 starts in 1959-60), trailing only the Yankees’ Whitey Ford (22, 1950-53), Montreal’s Kirk Rueter (22, 1993-94) and Cincinnati’s Brooks Lawrence (18, 1956).
Red Sox knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-1), who hadn’t allowed an earned run in his first two starts of the season, nearly matched LeBlanc.
Wright, a right-hander, allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. He walked two and struck out four.
The game’s only run came in the bottom of the third inning.
With one out, Dee Gordon lined a single to left field. After Jean Segura flew out to center field, Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz both grounded singles to left, with the speedy Gordon scoring easily from second on the latter.
Cruz’s hit was the first Wright allowed with a runner in scoring position this season, snapping an 0-for-15 run.
—Field Level Media