The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS–After spending much of the day feeling ill, James Pazos gave the Seattle Mariners a gritty performance against Minnesota last night.
Pitching through a nasty case of food poisoning, the Seattle reliever picked up the win when Twins’ first baseman Logan Morrison committed a throwing error in the eighth inning that sent the Mariners past the Twins 1-0 after a lengthy rain delay.
After starter Wade LeBlanc threw six scoreless innings, Pazos (1-0) came on to work the seventh.
According to manager Scott Servais, just being able to pitch was a victory in itself for Pazos.
“He was throwing up all day; didn’t know if he’d be available,” Servais admitted.
“He went out and got us through the seventh, and came right back in and went right back in the bathroom.”
Pazos gave up a one-out double to Mitch Garver but otherwise shut the door on the Twins–part of a dominant night by Mariners’ pitching.
Nick Vincent worked a 1-2-3 eighth before Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his AL-leading 14th save in 15 chances.
The four Seattle pitchers combined to allow just four hits and no walks.
Garver was the only Twins’ runner to reach second base all night.
“Tough way to lose a game when you get back home and can’t find a way to score,” said manager Paul Molitor, whose team was coming off a 2-1 road loss to the L.A. Angels on Sunday.
The pitchers were matching each other until the Mariners finally broke through when Dee Gordon led off the eighth with a double against reliever Trevor Hildenberger (1-1).
Jean Segura laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Morrison, who was charging hard from first base.
With Gordon racing to third, Morrison turned to throw to first but the ball sailed into right field, allowing Gordon to score.
“I went to reset my feet and just threw it away,” Morrison said.
“Obviously a routine play I’ve got to make and didn’t make it.”
Twins’ starter Jake Odorizzi threw six shutout innings, giving up four hits and one walk while striking out seven.
He allowed lead-off doubles in the third, fifth, and sixth but worked his way out of trouble.
Minnesota shortstop Ehire Adrianza ran down Gordon’s broken-bat blooper in short centre to end the fifth with two runners on.
Odorizzi stranded runners at the corners in the sixth when he struck out Ryon Healy on a diving splitter–his 97th and final pitch of the night.
“I felt like I had pretty good stuff for the most part, and got some strikeouts when I really needed,” Odorizzi said.
The story of the night, however, was Pazos.
The lefty hasn’t given up a run in his last 12 outings dating back to April 7 and has lowered his ERA to 1.17, solidifying his role in the Seattle bullpen on a night when he wasn’t at full strength.
“James Pazos has earned the right to start pitching in the back end. He’s been one of our most dominant guys,” Servais noted.
“I like how he’s wired,” he added. “Tonight, giving us the effort he did, says a lot about him.”
The game originally was scheduled for April 8 but got postponed because of inclement weather.
Then the first pitch last night was pushed back one hour, 42 minutes due to rain.
Elsewhere in the AL, Oakland topped Boston 6-5, Tampa Bay edged Kansas City 2-1, Detroit doubled Cleveland 6-3, and the L.A. Angels nipped Houston 2-1.
Over in the NL, Atlanta shaded Chicago 6-5, Milwaukee beat Arizona 7-2, Colorado downed San Diego 6-4, and San Francisco topped Cincinnati 10-7.