Paxton's scoreless streak ends at 23 IP

Mariners lefty tagged for 5 runs in opening loss to Oakland

Paxton's scoreless streak ends at 23 IP

OAKLAND -- It had to end sometime, right? James Paxton's scoreless streak to open the season for the Mariners was snapped at 23 innings when the A's jumped on the lefty for three runs on four hits in the third inning Thursday night en route to handing Seattle a 9-6 loss at the Coliseum.

The 28-year-old Canadian wound up allowing five runs on nine hits over 4 1/3 innings in his shortest start of the season, though he struck out eight with just one walk in the 91-pitch outing.

Paxton said he just didn't have the same command of his offspeed pitches that he'd enjoyed in his first three starts, and the A's were thus able to sit on his 97 mph fastball.

"It was just simple," he said. "I wasn't locating the fastball well and the offspeed stuff wasn't getting over for strikes. I really wasn't able to execute my game plan the way I wanted, which equaled them getting some hits and putting some runs on the board."

Paxton's streak stands as a club record to start a season by a Seattle pitcher and is tied for the fifth-longest season-opening run over the past five years by any Major League pitcher, though falling short of the 39 straight shutout innings by A's reliever Brad Ziegler in 2008.

Only two active starting pitchers have opened a season with longer scoreless streaks -- Jordan Zimmermann with 24 1/3 for the Tigers in '16 and Zack Greinke with 24 in '09 for the Royals.

"That was a great little streak that was going there, but you're not going to keep something like that going all year long," Paxton said. "You're going to have days like today when I just didn't have it. But I'll bounce back next time and be ready to go.

"It was cool. It was a great way to start the season and hopefully we can start a new streak here."

Paxton held a 3-0 lead after two innings, but the A's got to him with three straight hits to open the third on singles by Jaff Decker, Rajai Davis and Adam Rosales. Decker crossed the plate on Rosales' single and Davis followed on an error on right fielder Mitch Haniger when his throw hit the second base bag and caromed away.

Must C: Throw caroms off second

Manager Scott Servais said that throw should have been caught by either Robinson Cano or Taylor Motter instead of letting it sail to the bag.

Ryon Healy's two-out double down the third-base line drove in Rosales for the third run and the A's added two more in the fifth after center fielder Leonys Martin let a single roll between his legs for a two-run error before Servais brought in reliever Evan Scribner.

"Pax's stuff was probably as good as it has been," Servais said. "His location and command of his fastball wasn't maybe quite as good, but his stuff was certainly there. He was throwing hard and had some punchouts, but they had some good at-bats and put the bat on the ball. We didn't play a particularly clean game with the two errors."

The Mariners' record for scoreless innings at any point in a season is 34 by Mark Langston in 1988. Paxton is now tied for 11th on that list.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.