James Paxton pitched six strong innings to earn his first victory of the season as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Houston Astros 2-1 Monday night at Safeco Field.
The only run the left-hander allowed was a leadoff homer by the Astros’ George Springer in the first inning. Springer hit a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left-center field for his team-leading fifth homer of the season.
Paxton (1-1) allowed three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. He threw 106 pitches.
Nick Vincent and Juan Nicasio each pitched a perfect inning of relief to get the ball to Edwin Diaz.
The Mariners closer allowed a leadoff walk to Carlos Correa to heighten the drama. Yuli Gurriel then lined out to center field and pinch hitter Josh Reddick struck out swinging.
With Marwin Gonzalez at the plate, Correa stole second base to put the tying run in scoring position. However, Diaz struck out Gonzalez swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the game and earn his seventh save of the season.
The Mariners (9-5) moved past the defending World Series champion Astros (10-7) and into second place in the American League West.
The Mariners tied it with two outs in the fourth as Nelson Cruz lined a 2-2 pitch from Dallas Keuchel (0-3) just over the left field wall and into the Houston bullpen. It was the third home run of the season for Cruz in just his fifth game. He was activated off the 10-day disabled list Saturday. He had twisted an ankle in the dugout after hitting a homer in the second game of the season.
Seattle took the lead in the sixth as catcher David Freitas, the No. 9 hitter in the order, lined a double to left field. On the next pitch after a mound visit, Dee Gordon hit a run-scoring double to right.
Keuchel was the hard-luck loser, allowing the two runs on six hits in an eight-inning complete game. He walked one and struck out six.
—Field Level Media