LOS ANGELES (AP) — The homer-happy Seattle Mariners hit four against Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy on Monday night, and it still wasn’t enough to win.
James Paxton squandered a four-run lead that Nelson Cruz helped build with a pair of homers, and rookie Alex Guerrero hit a bases-loaded single with two outs in the 10th inning against Tyler Olson as the Mariners lost 6-5 to the defending NL West champions.
The Mariners have scored 17 of their 25 runs on homers through their first seven games.
“I don’t apologize for home runs. I kind of like them,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I think we have the ability to score in a lot of different ways. The other part hasn’t manifested itself yet, but I think it’s coming. Tonight our guys were aggressive in the strike zone, got some pitches to drive and drove them.”
Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager also connected off McCarthy, who gave up five runs and six hits over seven innings and struck out 10 without walking a batter. The right-hander also gave up four homers in his second major league start on May 27, 2005, with the Chicago White Sox at the Texas Rangers.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, McCarthy was the 11th pitcher since 1914 to give up as many as four homers and strike out at least 10 batters — and the first since Milwaukee’s Mike Fiers on Sept. 30, 2012, against Houston.
“We wasted a lot of good performances tonight,” McClendon said.
Cruz, whose nine interleague home runs last season led the majors, staked Paxton to a 2-0 lead before he threw his first pitch. It was the 200th career homer for Cruz, who barely cleared the fence in right-center with one out in the fourth. The next batter was Seager, whose homer increased Seattle’s lead to 4-0.
Paxton gave up five runs and six hits over 6 1-3 innings and struck out six. The Dodgers didn’t get their first hit until Yasiel Puig’s leadoff single in the fourth triggered a three-run rally that sliced Seattle’s lead to 4-3.
Guerrero hit a bases-loaded sacrifice fly and Joc Pederson followed with a two-run single, after Scott Van Slyke alertly tagged up at first and made it to second on Guerrero’s fly with no one covering the bag.
“It cost us a run, but it didn’t cost us a ballgame,” McClendon said.
Ackley got one of the runs back in the fifth with a two-out homer, which turned out to be the Mariners’ final hit. The Dodgers tied it in the bottom half on Puig’s first-pitch solo homer and Howie Kendrick’s RBI single.
“I made some mistakes, left some balls up there out over the plate and they capitalized on them,” Paxton said. “I know that Puig is a first-pitch hacker, and I just left that changeup over the plate there. I was trying to go down and away.”
Dominic Leone (0-1), working his third inning of relief, gave up double to Andre Ethier leading off the 10th before retiring Puig on a comebacker. After Adrian Gonzalez and Kendrick walked to load the bases, Tyler Olson relieved and struck out Carl Crawford for the second out. But Guerrero lined a 2-2 pitch to right-center to end Seattle’s third straight extra-inning game.
Yimi Garcia (1-0) pitched a perfect inning to get his first major league victory.
Mariners: RHP Tom Wilhelmsen was placed on the 15-disabled list, retroactive to April 11, because of a hyperextended elbow. He was replaced on the roster by Leone, who was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to fill the void in the bullpen.
Dodgers: 3B Juan Uribe missed his second straight game because of a sore hamstring and was replaced in the lineup again by Guerrero, who hit his first big league homer on Sunday. … Justin Turner, who didn’t start for the second straight game because of a cut index on his left hand, pinch-hit in the seventh and flied out.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1) is 3-0 in three interleague starts (Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington), allowing three runs in 21 innings with 24 strikeouts.
Dodgers: LHP David Huff, who signed as a free agent in January, will make his season debut for his new club about 39 miles from his hometown of Huntington Beach. It’s his first big league start since Sept. 29, 2013, with the Yankees. He is 0-3 with a 10.64 ERA in three career starts against the Mariners.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.