It says something that the Mariners again displayed an ability Wednesday to bounce back from a crushing loss. It also says something that they again put themselves in a position to do so.
Let’s stay positive, though, because Wednesday’s 8-0 victory over Detroit (VIDEO LINK) was clean and complete victory.
James Paxton returned to his suffocating form after a hiccup last week in Oakland, and the lineup produced a balanced 15-hit attack.
It was just what the Mariners needed after Tuesday’s 19-9 loss that included injuries to Felix Hernandez and Mitch Haniger, who were placed on the disabled list prior to Wednesday’s game.
Three takeaways from Wednesday’s victory:
***Big Maple?: Manager Scott Servais referred to Paxton as Big Maple because of the big Maple Leaf tattoo on the Canadian’s arm. Whether that nickname sticks is still to be determined.
All that matters, really, is Paxton was magnificent again in limiting the Tigers to four hits over seven innings while striking out nine and walking one. It was his fourth scoreless start this season in five outings.
Most important, perhaps, is Paxton noted a flaw in his delivery in watching tapes of a rocky start last time out at Oakland. He made the adjustment and, voila, he was Big Maple.
***Cruz on a tear: Nelson Cruz was 2-for-4 with a walk, another homer and two more RBIs. He is 8-for-13 with three homers and 11 RBIs in his last four games.
The Mariners are going to need elevated contributions throughout their lineup to compensate for the loss of Haniger, who has a strained right oblique muscle. Cruz performing at peak levels would be a big help.
***Setting the table: Shortstop Jean Segura has six hits in two games since returning from the disabled list and, as Servais notes: "Literally, every time he walks up there, you think he’s going to get a hit. He believes it."
Segura’s average is up to .364, and it’s easy to see why he led the National League last season in hits.
Left fielder Guillermo Heredia replaced Haniger as the lineup’s No. 2 hitter Wednesday and went 2-for-5. A productive Heredia positioned between Segura and Robinson Cano could also ease the fallout from Haniger’s absence.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners