PHILADELPHIA — A rare display of sloppy baseball halted the Mariners’ hot streak.
Wil Nieves doubled and had three hits and Cole Hamels got a victory when he wasn’t at his best as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Wednesday.
Chase Utley had the go-ahead RBI and Ben Revere and Marlon Byrd drove in runs for the Phillies, who won for just the third time in their last nine.
Kendrys Morales homered for Seattle, which was bidding to move 12 games over .500 for the first time since 2007. The Mariners, who are battling Detroit for the AL’s second wild-card spot, lost for just the third time in 10 games.
James Paxton (3-1) took the first loss of his career and committed a costly error that led to three runs in the fourth inning.
“That’s the first one we’ve had all year like that,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said. “A lot of things just didn’t go right. Knock on wood, it’s OK.”
Morales’ 430-foot drive to center leading off the second gave Seattle a 1-0 lead. The Phillies tied it in the third on Byrd’s RBI single before the Mariners took a 3-1 lead in the fourth on Logan Morrison’s RBI double and Hamels’ wild pitch that allowed Morrison to score.
Philadelphia was helped by Paxton in the fourth. After Nieves led off with a single, Andres Blanco hit a liner off Paxton’s left foot. The pitcher retrieved the ball but threw it away to put runners on second and third with no outs. Nieves scored on a passed ball and Utley’s RBI single made it 4-3.
“Obviously that can’t happen, you’ve got to be able to make the throw to first,” Paxton said. “Something that I’ll definitely work on between starts.”
Paxton had the shortest outing in his 10th start, lasting just four innings while allowing four runs – one earned – on seven hits. The 25-year-old Paxton was 6-0 in his career.
“I probably could’ve executed pitches a little bit better,” Paxton said. “But they were finding holes with ground balls, a couple bloopers in there, but that’s baseball.”
Hamels (7-6) snapped his string of seven straight starts going at least seven innings, but picked up the win in a rare reversal of fortunes. The left-hander entered Wednesday with the eight-best ERA in baseball but there were more than 100 pitchers with more victories. Hamels didn’t have his best stuff against the Mariners, giving up three runs on nine hits with four strikeouts, one walk and two wild pitches, but he got just enough run support and a lift from the Philadelphia bullpen.
Paxton stayed in the game after taking Blanco’s line drive off his left foot in the fourth inning. He appeared to limp slightly while walking back to the mound after covering home but didn’t seem to have any more noticeable signs of a problem. He said afterward he was OK.
Seattle takes Thursday off before heading to Boston for a three-game series at Fenway Park beginning at 4:10 Friday afternoon. Felix Hernandez (13-4, 1.99) takes the hill for the Mariners for the first time since snapping his MLB record of 16 straight starts with seven or more innings and two runs or fewer.
The Mariners had their streak of 15 straight wins when scoring three or more runs snapped. And Morrison didn’t think it was a result of the opponent.
“I feel like we gave the game away,” he said. “We had opportunities early, errors, passed ball, wild pitches, whatever they were. Gave them four runs I felt like.”