BY SPNW Staff 07:40PM 09/14/2013

Paxton Steps Up Again, Hurls Mariners To 4-1 Win

Rookie James Paxton tossed 6.0 innings of two-hit, shutout ball, the Mariners scored twice in the eighth inning, and Danny Farquhar had a flawless ninth for his 14th save as the Mariners defeated the Cardinals 4-1 Saturday at Busch Stadium. The victory snapped Seattle’s five-game losing streak.

The 24-year-old Paxton, who improved to 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA, had command of all his pitches, mixing an effective fastball with a breaking ball and change-up. He threw 65 of 97 pitches for strikes while fanning five and walking two. Paxton became the first Mariners rookie since Eric Hanson in 1988 to win his first two starts.

Seattle (66-82) took a 2-0 lead in the fifth on a two-run double by Franklin Gutierrez, and tacked on single runs in the eighth and ninth.

The Mariners had a chance to do major damage in the third when they loaded the bases with no outs on walks to Mike Zunino and Dustin Ackley and Brad Miller’s single. But Paxton, Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager all struck out.

Gutierrez’s double in the fifth followed an Ackley single and Paxton walk. Kendrys Morales hit a solo homer in the eighth, his 22nd of the season.

St. Louis’s only run came in the eighth when, after Matt Carpenter doubled and advanced to third on a ground-ball out, scored on a wild pitch by Charlie Furbush. The Mariners came back in the ninth with a sacrifice fly Carlos Triunfel.

ARMS: Former closer Tom Wilhelmsen and set-up man Charlie Furbush worked a combined 3.0 innings in relief, Furbush. They allowed one hit.

BATS: The Mariners hadseven hits. Morales and Abraham Almonte both had two . . . The Mariners went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.

QUOTES: “He was really good again today against a very good ball club in the middle of September. It was good to see him step up like that. He used his change-.up well and dropped the breaking ball in there . . . just a very nice all-around ball by him. He pitches in a very mature fashion for someone who has only had a couple of starts” — Eric Wedge, Mariners manger, on rookie starter James Paxton.

NOTES: Felix Hernandez will throw a bullpen session Monday in Detroit, after which the Mariners will determine if he’ll make his start Wednesday. Hernandez has been sidelined since Sept. 2 with a mild oblique strain in his left side . . . When the Mariners lost to the Cardinals Friday night on a walk-off passed ball, it marked only the second time in the last six seasons that a team won in walk-off fashion on such a play. The Yankees defeated the Tigers April 27, 2012, on an Alex Avila passed ball . . . Third baseman Kyle Seager became the seventh player in Mariners history Friday to start 100 consecutive games at the same position and the first since shortstop Alex Rodriguez played 145 games at shortstop in 1998. Ken Griffey Jr. went 114 straight in center field the same year. Seager started his 101st straight Saturday.

NEXT: The series concludes with an 11:15 a.m., PT game Sunday. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (5-1, 4.57) will work for Seattle against RHP Shelby Miller (13-9, 3.05). The Mariners move on to Detroit for a four-game set with the Tigers, leaders in the AL Central.


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