Seattle Mariners

Montgomery delivers one-hit gem in Mariners’ 5-0 victory over Padres

Rookie left-hander Mike Montgomery continues to emerge as a bright counterpoint to what, for the Seattle Mariners, remains a disappointing and underachieving season.

Montgomery carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning Tuesday night before settling for a 5-0 victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

The Mariners backed Montgomery’s one-hitter with homers by Mike Zunino and Brad Miller before their attack settled into a familiar low idle over the closing innings. They added an insurance run in the ninth on a throwing error.

Four runs were plenty.

Montgomery’s gem followed a five-hit shutout over Kansas City. He improved to 3-2, lowered his ERA to 1.62 and became the fourth pitcher in franchise history to pitch consecutive shutouts.

Randy Johnson did it three times; Mark Langston did it twice; and Freddy Garcia did it once.

For all that, Montgomery wasn’t always sharp. He worked around walks in the first and third innings, and a walk and a hit batter in the fifth.

Even into the seventh, he had thrown as many balls as strikes at 40 and 40 when he went 3-0 on Justin Upton, leading off the inning. Upton then flied out to left.

The no-hitter ended when Yangervis Solarte pulled a clean, one-out double into the left-field corner that hopped the wall. Montgomery responded by retiring the next two hitters.

The Mariners acquired Montgomery, 25, in a March 31 trade from Tampa Bay for pitcher Erasmo Ramirez.

Montgomery opened the season at Triple-A Tacoma before an injury to James Paxton created an opening in the Mariners’ rotation. This was Montgomery’s sixth career start. 

The Mariners didn’t reached base against San Diego starter Ian Kennedy (4-7) until Zunino rocked a 409-foot homer to left on a 1-1 fastball with one out in the third inning.

It was Zunino’s ninth homer — and eighth with the bases empty.

Logan Morrison pumped a two-out triple to right, but the Mariners settled for one run when Robinson Cano struck out.

The Mariners extended their lead to 4-0 in the fourth.

Kyle Seager led off with a single on a grounder that skipped through second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who was playing on the outfield grass. Official scorer Bill Zavestoski explained: “base hit off the grass.”

OK.

It was later changed to an error.

Kennedy walked Nelson Cruz but struck out Seth Smith before Austin Jackson grounded an RBI single past shortstop Clint Barmes. Cruz tried belatedly for third when center fielder Melvin Upton bobbled the ball.

That turned into an out when left fielder Justin Upton, backing up the play, retrieved the ball and made a strong throw to third.

Miller followed with a 364-foot drive to right for a two-run homer.

Montgomery threw only half of his 62 pitches for strikes in the first five innings but carried a no-hitter into the sixth — although the Padres threatened in the fifth.

Solarte led off with a four-pitch walk before Gyorko grounded into an apparent double play. San Diego challenged the call at first, which was overturned.

Jackson ran down Upton’s sinking liner to center for the second out, but Montgomery hit Barmes with a pitch — which prompted the Padres to send up Will Middlebrooks to bat for Kennedy.

Middlebrooks grounded into a force at second.  

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