The Seattle Mariners took care of business against the New York Mets on Sunday (July 30), piling up the runs during a 9-1 victory in front of the Safeco Field crowd. The offense scored early and often, staking starter James Paxton to a 5-0 lead in the second inning. It was more than enough run support for the lefty, as he would shut out the Mets over six strong innings.
Paxton gave up just six hits and struck out eight batters on the way to his 11th win of the season. Paxton now sports an 11-3 record and an impressive 2.68 ERA for the year. When the baseball awards for the month of July come out, many Mariners fans expect to see Paxton’s name on that list. In six starts and 39 1/3 innings of work this month, he has a 6-0 record and a 1.37 ERA. It is clear that Paxton has taken over as the ace of this pitching staff.
On offense, several players had good days, including Nelson Cruz, who hit his 21st home run of the season in the first inning. He now has 79 RBIs on the year as well, leading the club in that category once again. Leonys Martin, in his first game since getting called up from Triple-A Tacoma, went 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel each went 2-for-5 on the day, helping pace the offense to another impressive win over the Mets.
.@James_Paxton‘s July? HOT.
— MLB (@MLB) July 31, 2017
In the updated Wild Card standings from Sunday night, the Seattle Mariners are four games behind the Boston Red Sox (57-49) and three-and-a-half games behind the Kansas City Royals (55-48). This shows how close the Mariners could be to making it back to the MLB Playoffs, but the team is going to have to build some momentum from the series win over the New York Mets. Finding a way to sustain this winning streak could see the team push up the standings a bit more.
— Mariners (@Mariners) July 31, 2017
The Mariners now head out on a tough road trip that begins against the Texas Rangers on Monday night (July 31). The Mariners will play three games against the Rangers before traveling to play four against the Kansas City Royals over the weekend. From there, the team has two road games against the Oakland Athletics before returning home for Edgar Martinez Weekend.
The Mariners definitely have an opportunity to make a statement in these roads games, as these are two other teams battling for position in the American League. Neither the Texas Rangers or Kansas City Royals became sellers at the MLB trade deadline, suggesting the teams are holding out hope for a Wild Card spot as well. The Seattle Mariners have a chance to not only play the spoiler role but to put more games in the win column and pose a serious threat for the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays down the stretch.
[Featured Image by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images]