Mariners Lose a Heartbreaker, 3-2

SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 18: Starting pitcher Mike Leake
SEATTLE, WA - APRIL 18: Starting pitcher Mike Leake /

James Paxton threw 7 innings of shutout ball with a career-high 16 strikeouts, but the M’s failed to get the win.

The Oakland Athletics beat Seattle by a score of 3-2 in the second game of their three-game stint.

James Paxton began the top of the first just one strike shy of an immaculate inning. He managed to strike out the side, and the best game of his young career began.

Both teams struggled offensively due to solid pitching until the Mariners tacked on two runs in the third, thanks to a Ryon Healy solo homer and a Jean Segura single, which scored Dee Gordon.

The Mariners led for the majority of the game by a score of 2-0, due to Paxton’s dominance and a cold front of offense by Seattle after the third. The A’s pressured Paxton throughout the game with leadoff hits, but he was able to strike out batters and get out of multiple jams to keep his shutout alive.

Paxton once again struck out the side in the 7th and received a standing ovation as he left the mound. He ended the inning with a pitch count of 105, and Juan Nicasio began warming up in the bullpen.

After a scoreless seventh inning by the Seattle offense, Juan Nicasio took over on the mound for Paxton to begin the eighth. Nicasio’s 2018 campaign has been strong for the season, setting up numerous save opportunities for Edwin Diaz. However, tonight’s game was a complete contrast from the rest of his season. He allowed a 2-run home run to Jed Lowrie that tied the game at 2, and all three of his outs were flyouts near the warning track.

The Mariners once again failed to score in the eighth, which forced Diaz to enter the ninth inning without a save opportunity.

M’s fans saw Edwin Diaz do something tonight that has not happened this year – give up the lead.

Mark Canha homered in the first at-bat of the 9th inning to give the Athletics a 3-2 lead. Diaz proceeded to go 1-2-3 into the bottom half of the inning, but enough damage had already been done.

The Mariners left 8 runners on base in the final three innings of the game but failed to score a run outside of the third. Ichiro had an opportunity to tie the game with a base hit, but he struck out swinging to give the Mariners two outs. Dee Gordon reached on an infield hit, but the tying run was forced to stay at third base, as the score remained 3-2.

Jean Segura came to bat with the bases loaded with two outs – a base hit would win the game.

Next: The Mariners May Not Be As Good As We Think

Jean grounded out to the shortstop for the third out, and the Mariners lost a heartbreaker. The rubber match of the series is Thursday night as Wade LeBlanc will face off against Sean Manaea, who threw a no-hitter against Boston on April 21. First pitch is at 7:10 PT.