Paxton Struggles To Find Command In Mariners’ Loss To Cards

Erik Erickson, Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — James Paxton just couldn’t find his command against the St. Louis Cardinals.

After lasting at least six innings in each of his last four starts, Paxton needed 26 pitches to make it out of the first inning alone. The Cardinals homered six times and 13 of their 17 hits went for extra bases against six Seattle pitchers.

It all added up to an 11-6 loss for the Mariners on Sunday.

Paxton lasted just five innings, allowing five runs and eight hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

“I felt like I was battling all day. Didn’t have my ace stuff,” Paxton said. “The command wasn’t really there but we were fighting.”

Matt Carpenter and Tommy Pham each homered twice and Jedd Gyorko and Matt Holliday also went deep for St. Louis. Carpenter, Holliday, and Aledmys Diaz each had three hits for the Cardinals.

“Most of the time in this game, you’re not going to have all your stuff and you’ve still got to get the job done,” Paxton said. ” So that’s what I feel like I’m doing right now is I’m just learning that when I don’t have my best stuff, how do I get these lineups out and how do I grind through and get through six or seven innings and give our team a chance to win. “

Four straight extra-base hits helped the Cardinals erase Seattle’s 3-1 lead in the fifth. Consecutive one-out doubles by Diaz, Holliday and Stephen Piscotty tied the score. Brandon Moss then put the Cardinals ahead with an RBI triple. An error by Kyle Seager capped the scoring and put St. Louis ahead 5-3.

The Cardinals worked deep into Seattle’s bullpen after knocking out Paxton, tying a season-high with six home runs.

“St. Louis swung the bats very well today,” manager Scott Servais said. “We didn’t throw it so good, home runs and the extra-base hits certainly mounted against us. Played pretty well in the series. Obviously today just got away from us.”

Carpenter extended St. Louis’ lead to 6-3 with a solo home run in the sixth against reliever Donn Roach, his third extra base hit of the afternoon.

Franklin Gutierrez tied the score at 6-6 with a three run homer against reliever Kevin Siegrist (5-2) in the bottom of the sixth. A two-out single by Ketel Marte knocked St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia out of the game, and Gutierrez drilled a 1-1 fastball from Siegrist into the Mariners’ bullpen in left field.

Gutierrez has homered four times and drove in 10 in his last nine games.

“It was definitely trending in their direction,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Just a shame that we couldn’t hold on to that for Jaime. Got to a spot where they made the most of their opportunity and it definitely did shift the momentum.”

Gyorko and Pham led off the seventh with back-to-back home runs against reliever Nick Vincent (1-7) to break a 6-6 tie. Holliday extended St. Louis’ lead to 9-6 with a solo shot in the eighth against Edwin Diaz. Pham and Carpenter each hit their second home runs, both solo shots, in the ninth against Vidal Nuno.

“They come in bunches it seems like,” Pham said. “I’m just glad to be a part of it.”

Diaz had a ground-rule RBI double to put St. Louis up 1-0 in the first.

Nelson Cruz tied it with a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the bottom of the inning. Shawn O’Malley gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead with a ground-rule double in the second.

Cruz hit a solo homer, his 19th, to lead off the third and put the Mariners ahead 3-1. Cruz finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

Garcia labored through 5 2/3 innings, allowing single runs in each of the first three innings, and getting tagged for two more on Gutierrez’s ninth home run of the season.

SERVAIS SENT HOME

Servais recorded his first career ejection after arguing a called third strike on a check swing by O’Malley in the third. “I thought it was very close,” Servais said. “I went out to talk to him after I got tossed. Pretty sure he felt like he missed the call or whatever because he would not respond to me. That was very frustrating. Just from a respect standpoint. I’d already been kicked out of the game. You can at least talk about it, but didn’t feel there was a need to.”

TRAINING ROOM

Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (right foot tendinitis) threw a bullpen session and could start Thursday when the Mariners host Baltimore. “Both he and (Wade) Miley were out there throwing today,” Servais said. “Expecting everything to be good going forward.”

Cardinals: 3B Jhonny Peralta was given a day off Sunday, his first since being activated from the 15-day DL on June 7. “Figured we would wait until he needed it, and it looks like he needed it,” Matheny said.

UP NEXT

Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (6-4) makes his team-leading 16th start of the season Monday as the Cardinals begin a four-game series against the Royals.

Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-6) makes his first career start against the Pirates on Tuesday after a day off Monday.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

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