In a season mostly void of feel-good stories, LHP Mike Montgomery continued to buck the trend by throwing a one-hitter Tuesday night in the Mariners’ 5-0 win over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park (box score).
Montgomery didn’t allow a hit until one out in the seventh inning, when 3B Yangervis Solarte lined a ground-rule double down the left-field line. Montgomery maintained his second consecutive shutout, following the 25-year-old’s complete-game win over the Kansas City Royals, 7-0. Montgomery is the first Mariner to toss back-to-back shutouts since RHP Freddy Garcia did it in 2001 and the 12th rookie in the big leagues to do it since 1980.
SS Brad Miller hit a two-run homer (7) in the fourth to extend the lead to 4-0. CF Austin Jackson had an RBI single earlier in the inning.
C Mike Zunino began the scoring against RHP Ian Kennedy (4-7) with a solo shot in the second that traveled an estimated 409 feet. It was Zunino’s ninth homer.
Regardless of what Montgomery does the rest of his career, he’s an upgrade over RHP Erasmo Ramirez. That’s who the Mariners traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Montgomery at the end of March.
In six starts since being called up to the Mariners from Triple-A Tacoma, Montgomery is 3-2 with a 1.62 ERA.
Pitching in front of a large contingent of family and friends, Montgomery, who went to high school in nearby Santa Clarita, CA, struck out seven, walked four and hit a batter while throwing 113 pitches.
Montgomery on the no-no bid: “I wasn’t really thinking about that. I was just trying to battle and make good pitches. It was a different feel having to hit a little bit, so in my mind I wasn’t really thinking like I normally would. I was just out there trying to stay in the moment. It went well.”
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma allowed one run over 5.2 innings Tuesday night at Cheney Stadium in a rehab start for the Rainiers but left the game after trainers came to inspect a blister on a finger on his throwing hand. Prior to the Mariners game, McClendon said a decision on whether Iwakuma would rejoin the Mariners would come in the next few days. The severity of the blister or what it means for his rehab stint isn’t known . . . DH/RF Nelson Cruz told reporters Tuesday that he declined an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby, citing the fatigue he experienced after participating in the competition in 2009. As of the latest balloting up, Cruz is slated to start for the AL in the All-Star Game this month in Cincinnati . . . The win moved the 35-42 Mariners to 2-2 on the road trip . . . The Mariners have had back-to-back shutouts seven times. LHP Randy Johnson had three, LHP Mark Langston had two and Garcia had the other. . .Injured LHP James Paxton (strained finger tendon on his throwing hand) is playing catch from 60-75 feet but still a long ways from returning to the Mariners. “This is going to be a slow process with Paxton,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “We might as well concentrate on other things. Paxton is going to be out for a while.”
The Mariners cap their miniseries against the Padres with a 12:40 first pitch Wednesday at Petco Park. RHP Taijuan Walker (6-6, 4.64 ERA) gets the nod after putting up ace-like numbers during a bounce-back June, going 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in five starts. RHP James Shields (7-2, 4.24 ERA) goes for San Diego.
The Mariners then travel to Oakland for a four-game set to close out their nine-game road trip.