PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Wil Nieves doubled and had three hits and Cole Hamels got a victory when he wasn’t at his best as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Wednesday.
Chase Utley had the go-ahead RBI and Ben Revere and Marlon Byrd drove in runs for the Phillies, who won for just the third time in their last nine.
Kendrys Morales homered for Seattle, which was bidding to move 12 games over .500 for the first time since 2007. The Mariners, who are battling Detroit for the AL’s second wild-card spot, lost for just the third time in 10 games.
Hamels (7-6) snapped his string of seven straight starts going at least seven innings, but picked up the win in a rare reversal of fortunes. The left-hander entered Wednesday with the eight-best ERA in baseball but there were more than 100 pitchers with more victories. Hamels didn’t have his best stuff against the Mariners, giving up three runs on nine hits with four strikeouts, one walk and two wild pitches, but he got just enough run support and a lift from the Philadelphia bullpen.
Jonathan Papelbon struck out two in a scoreless ninth for his 30th save in 33 opportunities. Jake Diekman followed Hamels and struck out four in two scoreless frames and Ken Giles fanned the side in the scoreless eighth.
James Paxton (3-1) took the first loss of his career after the shortest outing in his 10th start, lasting just four innings while allowing four runs – one earned – on seven hits. The 25-year-old Paxton was 6-0 in his career.
Morales’ 430-foot drive to center leading off the second gave Seattle a 1-0 lead. The Phillies tied it in the third on Byrd’s RBI single before the Mariners took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on Logan Morrison’s RBI double and Hamels’ wild pitch that allowed Morrison to score.
Philadelphia was helped by Paxton in the fourth. After Nieves led off with a single, Andres Blanco hit a liner off Paxton’s left ankle. The pitcher retrieved the ball but threw it away to put runners on second and third with no outs. Nieves scored on a passed ball and Utley’s RBI single made it 4-3.
Mariners: Paxton stayed in the game after taking Blanco’s line drive off the left ankle in the fourth inning. He appeared to limp slightly while walking back to the mound after covering home but didn’t seem to have any more noticeable signs of a problem.
Phillies: OF John Mayberry Jr. had a pair of hits on Tuesday in his first rehab game with Triple-A Lehigh Valley at Pawtucket. Mayberry has been on the DL since July 21 with left wrist inflammation.
Mariners: Seattle takes Thursday off before heading to Boston for a three-game series at Fenway Park beginning at 4:10 Friday afternoon. Felix Hernandez (13-4, 1.99) takes the hill for the Mariners for the first time since snapping his MLB record of 16 straight starts with seven or more innings and two runs or fewer.
Phillies: Following Thursday’s off day, RHP Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.90) takes the mound as Philadelphia opens a three-game home series with the Cardinals at 7:05 Friday. Kendrick is 1-3 with a 5.49 ERA in his last seven starts. Following his last start, Kendrick apologized a day after storming off the mound and not waiting for manager Ryne Sandberg when he was lifted after allowing three earned runs in five innings of a 6-5 loss to the Giants on Saturday.
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