|SEATTLE — Wade LeBlanc pitched into the eighth inning and Nelson Cruz had an RBI single as the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox 1-0 Saturday night.
LeBlanc gave up just two hits and struck out nine over 7 2/3 innings. After a single by Mookie Betts on the opening at-bat of the game, LeBlanc (3-0) retried the next 22 batters until Eduardo Nunez singled with two outs in the eighth.
Alex Colome got pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland to pop out to end the inning, and Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.
It was LeBlanc’s first start of more than seven innings pitched since his first outing of the 2011 season with the San Diego Padres. His nine strikeouts were also his most since striking out 10 against the Los Angeles Dodgers that same season.
He had a little help from Dee Gordon at second base with diving stops to rob Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts of base hits.
The Mariners needed LeBlanc’s stellar outing as they struggled to get a lot going against knuckleballer Steven Wright.
Wright (2-1) held Seattle to just one run and five hits with two walks and four strikeouts over seven innings.
Three singles — all to left field — off Wright in the third inning gave the Mariners their early advantage. Gordon reached with one out while Mitch Haniger and Cruz each singled with two down.
It snapped Wright’s string of 25 1/3 scoreless innings, which topped the stretch of 25 scoreless innings by Oakland’s Daniel Mengden for the longest in the majors this season.
The Mariners signed first-round pick Logan Gilbert earlier in the day. The right-handed pitcher from Stetson University posted a 2.52 ERA while going 11-1 with 157 strikeouts and 23 walks in 15 starts. His 157 strikeouts lead NCAA Division-I baseball this season.
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz played catch in the outfield on Friday and is expected to do so again on Sunday. Manager Alex Cora said Pomeranz still felt stiff from his left biceps tendinitis but that they didn’t feel it was anything serious. “He was moving around better today,” Cora said.
Mariners: RHP Juan Nicasio threw a live bullpen session prior to Saturday’s game. Nicasio is expected to be activated from the disabled list during Seattle’s upcoming series in New York. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday after having fluid buildup in his right knee.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (8-1) has won each of his last five starts and hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start since May 15. He’s posted a 2.15 ERA over 29 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts over his last five outings.
Mariners: RHP Mike Leake (7-3) has pitched at least six innings in each of his last five starts, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.77 ERA over that span.