SEATTLE – Steven Duggar scored from second base on a throwing error by Dee Gordon with two outs in the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Tuesday night.
Pinch-hitter Pablo Sandoval hit a slow roller toward second base that Gordon charged from the outfield grass. Sandoval was going to beat the play, but Gordon still tried a rushed throw, and Ryon Healy was unable to handle it as it bounced toward the Seattle dugout, allowing Duggar to score.
Duggar had singled with one out against closer Edwin Diaz (0-3) and advanced when Alen Hanson grounded to the mound.
Tony Watson (3-3) worked the eighth inning, and Will Smith pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Hunter Pence homered for the first time this season after 125 at-bats and in his 50th game. Pence missed 40 games due to a right thumb injury and had yet to find the home run swing that led to 13 homers in each of the past two seasons. Pence’s solo shot leading off the sixth thumped off the facade of the second-deck in left field and gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. Chase d’Arnaud and Kelby Tomlinson also had RBI singles for the Giants.
The lead was short as Seattle pulled even in the sixth when pinch-hitter Ben Gamel dropped a two-out single into shallow left field and scored Denard Span.
Seattle expected to have its ace James Paxton returning from the disabled list for the series opener. But Paxton’s sore back flared up after throwing a bullpen last weekend, and he remained on the disabled list, leaving the Mariners to scramble for a starter.
The job ended up with Roenis Elias. The lefty pitched well but lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs and throwing a season-high 75 pitches.
Seattle had a chance at a big inning in the fourth after loading the bases with no outs. Span’s sacrifice fly scored Nelson Cruz, but any big rally was halted when Kyle Seager was thrown out at the plate trying to score on Mike Zunino’s single. Seager was sent by third-base coach Scott Brosius but was thrown out by several steps on a good throw by Austin Slater.
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