Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners beat Royals 1-0 for 7th straight victory

KC rookie pitches 1st complete major league game

July 02, 2018 - 2:25 am
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Not only was it Canada Day with "The Big Maple", Canadian James Paxton on the mound for the Mariners' 1-0 victory over the Royals, it also was Paxton Bobblehead Day at Safeco Field.

Paxton allowed only two hits and struck out 11 in eight innings to lead the Mariners to their season-best seventh consecutive victory.

"It was cool to pitch on Canada Day and have the bobblehead," Paxton said. "It felt good today. The fastball, curveball and cutter all were working."

Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his 32nd save. The Mariners are 26-11 in one-run games this season and 22-0 when Diaz enters the game with a one-run lead.

Kansas City rookie Brad Keller (2-3) also was tough to hit. He allowed six hits in eight innings. The only extra-base hit he allowed was a double by Kyle Seager in the seventh inning.

"He's doing everything you want a starting pitcher to do," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Complete game. He was fantastic. He's out there attacking with his fastball, slider, throwing strikes and really commanding his pitch count."

It was the first complete game of Keller's career.

"After the game a few guys came up and said congratulations," Keller said. "I've never had one before and it's pretty cool, but it's frustrating (taking the loss). That's tough lineup. A lot of good hitters over there. I tried to stay on the attack and not fall behind too much."

The only run came in the second inning. Ben Gamel dropped a broken-bat single into shallow center to score Seager from second base. Seager singled to right before Ryon Healy singled to center.

That's all Paxton needed, recording double-figure strikeouts for the seventh time this season. On his 110th pitch, his last of the game to close out the top of the eighth, his fastball was clocked at 99 mph.

"Late in the game he just dialed it up," Servais said. "Pax emptied the tank and let it rip. He had an overpowering fastball at the end. It's pretty rare. There are only five to 10 guys in baseball who can do that and we're lucky to have one of them."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy, who experienced tightness on his left side during his start Friday, had his normal throwing day in the bullpen Sunday, but Kansas City manager Ned Yost did not say whether Kennedy would make his next scheduled start. Yost said RF Jorge Soler (fractured toe and placed in the 10-day DL June 17) is still on a six-weeks-or-so recovery, so it's likely another four weeks before he would return.

UP NEXT

Royals: RHP Jakob Junis (5-9, 4.67) will make his 17th starts of the season Monday when the Royals return home to start a three-game series with Cleveland. Junis has allowed a major league-high 22 home runs over 96.1 innings.

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