St. Louis offense gets to Paxton, relief in series finale loss

Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

6/26 vs STL by TOM HAYDEN


On a sunny Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field in Seattle, the M's came out seeking a 3-game sweep of the 39-35 St. Louis Cardinals. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned as St. Louis offense combined for 11 extra base hits and 6 home runs off of Mariners pitching. With the loss, the Mariners have fallen back to .500 on the season and now have a W-L record of 38-38. Seattle is 12 games in back of the Texas Rangers and 2.5 games in back of the Astros in the American League standings. 

On the mound on Sunday, LHP James Paxton made his sixth start of the 2016 season. Paxton started off solid in this one, but St. Louis caught up to him later on. Paxton went 5.0 innings giving up 5 runs on 8 hits (all earned runs) while walking 2 and striking out a fantastic 7 Cardinals in his outing. James got a no decision, so he maintains a W-L record of 1-3 on the season with an ERA of 4.15. Relieving Paxton were RHP Donn Roach (3.86 ERA, recently called up from AAA Tacoma), LHP David Rollins (0.00 ERA, also acquired recently from AAA Tacoma), RHP Nick Vincent (3.47 ERA), RHP Edwin Diaz (2.38 ERA) and LHP Vidal Nuño (3.38 ERA). In 0.2 innings, Roach gave up 1 earned run on 2 hits. Rollins went 0.1 innings giving up nothing and striking out 1. Nick Vincent suffered his third loss of the season (now has a W-L record of 2-3 on the year so far) as he gave up 2 solo homers in the seventh inning right after Gutierrez tied the ball game up with a 3-run blast prior to that for the M's. Vincent earned those 2 runs. Edwin Diaz and Vidal Nuño went the last 2 innings of the ball game combining to give up 3 runs on 5 hits (3 HR) while striking out 3. (Diaz- 1 earned run, Nuño- 2 earned runs). 

Offensively on Sunday the Mariners put up a decent 12 hits on the afternoon. SS Ketel Marte (.278 AVG) extended his hit streak to 3 games with a 2-hit day going 2-5 at the plate. RF Franklin Gutierrez (.266 AVG) also had a 2-hit day going 2-3 at the plate with 3 RBI. Guti now has 25 RBI on the year so far. Gutierrez connected for his ninth HR of the season, a 3-run blast in the sixth inning to tie the game up at 6 at the time. DH Nelson Cruz (.285 AVG) went 2-4 at the plate with 2 hits, one of which his nineteenth HR of the season which came in the third inning of the ball game in solo fashion. 2B Robinson Canó (.297 AVG) extended his hit streak to 4 games on Sunday with his nineteenth double of the season. 1B Dae-Ho Lee (.282 AVG) and CF Leonys Martin (.263 AVG) each also had 2-hit days at the plate. Lee connected for his second double of the season on Sunday afternoon. 

The Mariners will look to keep this home stand going strong as they open up a 3-game series with a 37-40 Pittsburgh Pirates. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-6, 4.45 ERA) will make his fifteenth start of the season on Monday night at Safeco. Iwakuma and the M's will face PIT LHP Jonathon Niese (6-5, 4.93 ERA). Be sure to catch all of the Game 1 action on ROOT Sports NW or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle Radio. First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET!

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.