Apr 15, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Danny Valencia (right) slides safely into third base before the tag of Texas Rangers third baseman Joey Gallo (left) during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
SEATTLE (AP) — James Paxton extended his season-opening scoreless streak to 21 innings, Taylor Motter hit a three-run homer and the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 5-0 on Saturday night.
Paxton (2-0) threw eight innings of two-hit ball, walking one and striking out nine. He hasn’t allowed a run yet in three starts this year, and his scoreless stretch is a team record. He’s the 10th pitcher in the majors ever to open a season with three scoreless starts of at least six innings.
Paxton walked Carlos Gomez to lead off the game, but he followed by getting Elvis Andrus to ground into a double play. That was the last baserunner Paxton allowed until Joey Gallo doubled with one out in the sixth inning. Gallo advanced to third on a wild pitch but was stranded when Gomez popped up a bunt to end the inning.
Kyle Seager added a two-run single as part of a five-run sixth inning for Seattle, which won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
Andrew Cashner (0-1) made his first start for Texas and pitched into the sixth inning, giving up four runs and five hits. Cashner missed most of spring training and the start of the season with soreness in his right bicep. He was activated from the disabled list before the game and made his first start since signing as a free agent this winter.
Cashner held Seattle scoreless through the first five innings, but the Mariners broke through in the sixth with the help of an error. With one out and a runner on first, Robinson Cano hit a grounder to short that looked like a double-play ball, but Andrus bobbled it and rushed an off-target flip to second. Cashner then walked the bases loaded before Seager’s two-run single.
Motter followed with his second home run of the season, a shot to right field off reliever Mike Hauschild to put Seattle five runs ahead.
Mariners OF Mitch Haniger singled twice, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Haniger also scored to give him 11 runs in Seattle’s first 12 games, and he has reached base safely in each game.
In addition to activating Cashner, before the game Texas optioned right-hander Nick Martinez to Triple-A Round Rock and also activated Tanner Scheppers and assigned him to Round Rock.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (0-0) will make his third start. In his previous outing, he allowed one run and four hits over seven innings against Oakland.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1) will start in the series finale against Texas. In his last start, against the Angels, he gave up one run on two hits in six innings.