Paxton leads Mariners past Angels 3-1
SEATTLE (AP) — James Paxton took a four-hitter into ninth inning before he was forced from the game after being hit on the left arm by a line drive, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Sunday.
Mike Freeman, making his Mariners debut after being called up earlier in the day from Triple-A Tacoma, had his first two major league hits, including an RBI single to cap a three-run fourth inning.
Paxton (4-5) was on the verge of his first career complete game when he was hit with one out in the ninth by the line drive from Andrelton Simmons, who reached on the infield single.
Tom Wilhelmsen got the final two outs for his first save. Paxton struck out six with one walk in 8 1/3 innings.
Matt Shoemaker (6-12) allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings, striking out three, but hitting three batters.
Seattle erased a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the fourth inning, although the Angels prevented a bigger inning with two stellar defensive plays.
Seth Smith, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz opened with consecutive singles for the first run. After Adam Lind was hit by a pitch to load the bases, center fielder Mike Trout prevented a grand slam with a leaping catch above the wall on Leonys Martin’s sacrifice fly that made it 2-1.
Mike Zunino then bounced to shortstop Simmons, who threw out Cruz at home. Freeman, who singled in his first at-bat in the third, followed with an RBI single.
The Angels pushed across an unearned run in the third after shortstop Sean O’Malley booted Shane Robinson’s one-out chopper. Robinson came around on singles by Kole Calhoun and Albert Pujols.
Trout, celebrating his 25th birthday, struck out four times for the fourth time in his career. The last was Sept. 7, 2014, also against Paxton.
Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar, who injured his left knee on the final play Saturday, was scratched Sunday from the leadoff spot after the knee bothered him during pregame warm-ups.
Mariners: SS Ketel Marte, on the 15-day DL with mononucleosis, was scheduled to play again Sunday night with Triple-A Tacoma. “I’m hopeful we get him before we go on the roadtrip,” manager Scott Servais said, referring to the three-game series at Oakland that begins Friday. ... RHP Nick Vincent was activated off the 15-day DL (mid-back strain). Vincent is 2-3 with a 3.47 ERA and one save in 35 games with Seattle He made one rehab appearance with Short-A Everett, striking out three in one scoreless inning. ... INF Freeman was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. Freeman, who played in four games at Tacoma after being claimed off waivers on Monday from Arizona, was in the starting lineup Sunday at 2B. ... INF Luis Sardinas and RHP Cody Martin were optioned to Tacoma.
Angels: After a day off Monday, Los Angeles heads to Chicago for a two-game series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. RHP Jared Weaver (8-8, 5.11). In two career starts against the Cubs, Weaver has allowed just one earned run in 13 innings.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (12-7, 3.99 ERA) opens the three-game series against Detroit on Monday, the final set of a 10-game homestand. Iwakuma is 11-3 in his last 14 starts.