Rookie Nix stymies Mariners in Padres’ 2-1 win
Right-hander Jacob Nix pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings before serving up a home run to Nelson Cruz Tuesday night as the host San Diego Padres defeated the Seattle Mariners 2-1 in an interleague game at Petco Park.
The 22-year-old Nix, who was the Padres third-round pick in the 2015 draft, entered the game with a 1-2 record and a 6.17 earned run average. He allowed eight hits with no walks or strikeouts while throwing 79 pitches with 59 going for strikes.
Right-hander Kirby Yates, who had given up game-losing homers in three of his previous four outings, retired the only two Mariners he face to get his sixth save.
Nix (2-2) defeated the Mariners with his glove as well as his arm. In both the third and fifth innings, he turned two-on, no-out sacrifice bunt attempts by Mariners starter Felix Hernandez (8-12) into double plays. And in the fourth, Nix raced to the third-base foul line to field a bunt by Denard Span and throw out the Mariners’ left fielder at first.
Nix’s three plays represented merely half of the defensive gems turned in by Padres fielders.
Second baseman Luis Urias, the Padres’ No. 4 prospect, made his major league debut by making a diving stop to his right to rob Mitch Haniger on the game’s first play. Shortstop Freddy Galvis preserved the shutout, diving to his right and throwing out Nelson Cruz from his knees to end the sixth with a runner at third.
The Padres scored their first run Hernandez’s first pitch of the game. Travis Jankowski drove a Hernandez sinker 379 feet to right for the first game-opening homer of his career and his third homer of the season.
The lead remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth.
Wil Myers doubled to the gap in left center with one out, moved to third on Eric Hosmer’s groundout to first and scored on Hunter Renfroe’s ground single to left.
The Padres had only one other hit off Hernandez — a Franmil Reyes single with two out in the seventh — plus a pair of walks. Hernandez finished with nine strikeouts before leaving for a pinch hitter in the top of the eighth. He took the loss to fall to 8-12.
–Field Level Media
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