SEATTLE -- Mariners shortstop Brad Miller hit his third home run in the past two games and left-hander James Paxton extended his scoreless streak to 20 innings with eight shutout frames on Sunday as Seattle beat Boston, 5-0, at Safeco Field.
Paxton evened his record to 2-2 with a 3.59 ERA as he limited Boston to five hits with two walks and two strikeouts. The 26-year-old became the first Mariners southpaw starter to throw 20 straight scoreless frames since Erik Bedard in 2011.
"It's no secret," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "Command the fastball and you're going to win and it's going to make all your other pitches better. And when you're commanding a 98-mph fastball, it's going to make everything else special. I thought you saw that today."
Knuckleballer Steven Wright took the loss in his first start of the season for Boston, which finished its road trip 5-5 and 18-20 overall. Seattle is 17-20 after concluding a 6-3 homestand.
"We're not hitting right now," said Red Sox left fielder Hanley Ramirez. "We've got to start hitting and get on base."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Miller muscles up again: Somewhere along the line, Miller decided to channel Nelson Cruz for a bit. After homering once in his first 30 games, the Mariners' new utility man has hit four in his past five and now ranks third on the Mariners in both home runs (five) and RBIs (14). Kyle Seager joined him with his own fifth homer of the year in the eighth inning, a two-run blast that gave the Mariners a 5-0 lead and hiked Seager's RBI total to 21. More >
Boston bats nearly silent: The Red Sox were quiet offensively for almost the entirety of this 10-game road trip. And in the finale, they were silent. After opening the trip by being shut out in Toronto, Boston book-ended things by putting up another goose-egg. A double by Brock Holt was the only extra-base hit of the day for manager John Farrell's team.
"These are our guys. We believe in them. We trust them. But we've got to get some things going," said Farrell. More >
Paxton on a roll: The Mariners' lanky lefty kept the Red Sox at bay for eight innings with his strongest outing of the season. Boston threatened in the third when singles by Blake Swihart and Shane Victorino put runners on the corners with two outs. But Miller, back at shortstop for the day, turned in an excellent backhanded stop on Dustin Pedroia's grounder in the hole for the third out. Paxton also stranded runners at second and third in the seventh when Swihart grounded out to Miller to stifle that rally. More >
The Wright stuff: Wright looked up for the challenge of filling in while Justin Masterson (right shoulder tendinitis) is on the disabled list. The righty limited the Mariners to five hits and three runs (two earned) over five innings. He walked one and struck out four.
"I'll be ready in a couple days," said Wright. "I threw about 85 pitches and I'm just ready for whatever John wants me to do, whether it's another start, going to the 'pen. For me it doesn't matter. I just have to go throw good knuckleballs over the plate and just hope for the best." More >
"That's the one thing that's got lost in all this. We haven't played well to this point, but it seems like when we lose, the world is coming to an end. But the fact is, we were 6-3 on this homestand. That's a pretty good homestand and it's certainly something to build on. Hopefully, we'll take that momentum on the road with us." -- McClendon
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• The Mariners averaged 31,202 fans a game during their nine-game homestand and their overall attendance is averaging 29,896 in the first 21 games at Safeco Field. Last year, the average was 22,320 after 21 games. That increase of 7,576 per game is the second highest in baseball at this point, trailing only the Kansas City Royals.
• Holt has been a hitting machine on the road this year, going 13-for-31 (.419). The utilityman is hitting .227 (10-for-44) at Fenway.
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
McClendon challenged an out call on Rickie Weeks on a ground ball to Red Sox second baseman Pedroia in the fourth inning as first baseman Mike Napoli took the throw just as Weeks' foot hit the bag, but the call stood after a 2 minute, 27 second review.
A crew chief's review in the top of the eighth upheld a foul ball call on a deep drive by Red Sox leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, who then lined out to second.
There was another brief crew chief's review in the bottom of the eighth to see if Robinson Cano had been hit by a pitch, but it was quickly confirmed that he had not and it was instead a foul ball. Cano wound up striking out on the next pitch.
WHAT'S NEXT Red Sox: Following an off-day, the Red Sox open a six-game homestand on Tuesday night with a 7:10 p.m. ET contest against the Rangers. Lefty Wade Miley, who has started to settle into a groove, starts for Boston. He'll be opposed by right-hander Yovani Gallardo.
Mariners: After an off-day on Monday, Seattle opens a nine-game road trip in Baltimore on Tuesday with Taijuan Walker (1-4, 7.22 ERA) on the hill for the 4:05 p.m. PT start. Walker got off to a rough start this season, but has pitched better of late and allowed just two runs and four hits in six innings in his last outing against the Padres. The Orioles counter with right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (4-2, 2.93).