SEATTLE (AP) — James Paxton is trying to follow his manager’s instructions and “pitch with an edge.”
The hard-throwing lefty took a step in the right direction Monday night, tossing six solid innings for the Seattle Mariners in their 3-1 loss to the streaking Cleveland Indians.
Paxton (0-2) allowed only one earned run and five hits. He struck out 10 and walked one, but a pivotal error by catcher Chris Iannetta sent Seattle to its fourth consecutive defeat.
Still, it was an encouraging bounce-back for Paxton, rocked by San Diego for eight runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings in his previous outing.
Mariners manager Scott Servais spoke to Paxton between starts about taking a different attitude to the mound.
“I think it’s important to pitch with an edge, especially where he’s at in his career right now,” Servais said. “He’s at a point where he has an opportunity to really step up and earn something and be a big part of what we’re trying to get done here.
“Sometimes you’ve got to pitch with a little chip on your shoulder and it certainly looked like he did that tonight. He knew we needed him and he pitched a good ballgame.”
The 27-year-old Paxton said he’s always tried to “internalize” his emotions on the mound to remain poised and under control.
“He (Servais) wanted me to show a little emotion today, so I was trying to let that out a little bit more,” Paxton said. “I think it’s something that I just have to tell myself, to go out in that outing and just kind of show some emotion to try to pump the team up and give some energy to the team out there.”
Trevor Bauer pitched 7 1/3 strong innings and Rajai Davis homered to lead Cleveland to its sixth straight victory. The Indians extended their AL Central lead over Kansas City to 2 1/2 games.
After the Mariners jumped ahead 1-0 in the third on Nori Aoki’s RBI single, the Indians rallied for two unearned runs in the fourth. Paxton allowed a one-out single to Carlos Santana followed by Jose Ramirez’s double into the left-field corner.
Santana, waved home, was beaten by the relay throw but Iannetta dropped it for an error.
“I just missed it. I just made an error,” Iannetta said. “I mean, you’re going to make errors. I don’t want to do it. I pride myself on my defense.”
Ramirez, who advanced to third on the throw, scored on Juan Uribe’s sacrifice fly.
“Obviously, if we’d hung onto that one we would have got him at the plate,” Servais said. “It would have been nice to have that one, obviously. It was a big play in the game.”
Bryan Shaw got the final two outs in the eighth and Cody Allen worked the ninth for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.
Bauer (4-2) gave up one run and scattered five hits. He walked one and struck out 10 to earn his first victory since May 10.
“Trevor Bauer always has that edge,” Servais said. “That’s just how he is. He had all four pitches working tonight. That was the key — it wasn’t just two.”
Davis hit his sixth home run in the fifth.
Robinson Cano went 0 for 4, ending his on-base streak at a career-best 34 games.
Mariners reliever Edwin Diaz, called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Saturday, made his major league debut in the seventh. He retired the side in order.
The Mariners, carrying 12 pitchers, activated shortstop Ketel Marte from the DL and returned outfielder Stefen Romero to Triple-A.
The Indians are tweaking their rotation a bit this week to help rest some nagging injuries. RHP Cody Anderson will be recalled from the minors to start Tuesday and give RHP Carlos Carrasco, who came off the disabled list last Thursday, an extra day. Carrasco will pitch Wednesday, replacing RHP Danny Salazar, who has some shoulder fatigue.
Mariners OF Leonys Martin (strained left hamstring) ran the bases before the game and appears on schedule to return Friday. … RHP Felix Hernandez (strained right calf) has not started running yet. He is eligible to come off the disabled list Saturday.
Indians: Anderson (1-3, 6.81 ERA) had his best outing — and only win — of the season in his previous start May 23. He had nine strikeouts over seven innings in a 5-1 victory against the White Sox.
Mariners: LHP Wade Miley (5-2, 5.84) gave up 12 hits and nine runs Thursday to San Diego but ended up with a no-decision when the Mariners rallied for a 16-13 victory. Miley has made two career starts against Cleveland. He is 0-1 with an 8.22 ERA.
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