DETROIT (AP) — James Paxton struck out nine in seven outstanding innings, and Nelson Cruz and Guillermo Heredia homered to lift the Seattle Mariners to an 8-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
Paxton (3-0) allowed four hits and a walk in a dominant performance against a Detroit team that had scored 32 runs over its previous two games. It was just what the Mariners needed after losing 19-9 on Tuesday and putting right-hander Felix Hernandez on the disabled list before Wednesday’s game.
Paxton has held the opposition scoreless in four of his five starts this season. He lowered his ERA to 1.39.
Daniel Norris (1-2) allowed four runs and nine hits in four-plus innings. It was his second straight game allowing at least four earned runs after he went 21 consecutive starts yielding three or fewer.
Seattle opened the scoring with three runs in the second, including a two-run homer by Heredia that made it 3-0. The Mariners chased Norris in the fifth and scored a run when reliever Shane Greene walked Ben Gamel with the bases loaded. Cruz’s two-run shot made it 6-0 in the sixth.
Paxton was in a bit of a jam in the fourth after Victor Martinez struck out but reached first base on a passed ball. After a single by Justin Upton, Detroit had two on with one out, but the Seattle left-hander struck out John Hicks and James McCann to end the threat.
Paxton fanned the first two Detroit hitters in the fifth as well.
Mariners: Hernandez went on the 10-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, and OF Mitch Haniger joined him because of a strained right oblique.
Tigers: Detroit had been scoring a lot of runs lately, but the Tigers have not been at full strength. Miguel Cabrera (groin), J.D. Martinez (foot), Jose Iglesias (concussion) and JaCoby Jones (lip) are on the DL.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-2) pitches Thursday in the finale of this three-game series.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (1-2) tries to bounce back after a couple of poor starts that pushed his ERA to 6.04.