Mariners win 9th straight behind Eugenio Suárez’s 3-run home run

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WASHINGTON — Eugenio Suarez smacked a three-run homer, Chris Flexen pitched six solid innings to win his fourth straight start and the Seattle Mariners got their ninth straight win by beating the Washington Nationals 6-4 on Wednesday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Jesse Winker, Adam Frazier and Cal Raleigh hit solo home runs for Seattle, which last won nine in a row in 2003 (May 27 through June 5). The surging Mariners have won 17 of 20 for the first time since April 2-23, 2002.

Juan Soto tried to help the Nationals in the ninth inning, hitting a three-run homer off Penn Murfee with two outs to make it 6-4, but Paul Sewald retired Nelson Cruz for his 11th save.

Flexen (6-8) gave up a run on six hits, while walking two and striking out one. He has a 2.88 ERA over his past seven starts.

The Nationals, who have lost five straight and 11 of 12, also saw production from Keibert Ruiz, who had a double and a single.

Starter Josiah Gray (7-6) allowed five runs on six hits, three of them home runs, in five innings. He walked three and struck out seven.

Gray struggled with his control early, walking two of the first three batters in the first inning before Suarez homered to left on an 0-1 fastball. Winker’s and Frazier’s solo shots came in the fourth.

Washington loaded the bases against Flexen with no outs in the fifth, but settled for Luis Garcia‘s sacrifice fly to make it 5-1 before Flexen retired Josh Bell and Nelson Cruz around a walk to Soto.

The second game is a makeup of the game rained out Tuesday.

BRAWL SUSPENSIONS DONE

Mariners’ All-Star center fielder Julio Rodriguez served a one-game suspension stemming from his involvement in a brawl with the Los Angeles Angels on June 26. All of the sanctioned Mariners have now served their suspensions.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Nationals: LHP Josh Rogers (left shoulder impingement) pitched 5 1/3 innings in a rehab start with Double-A Harrisburg Tuesday night. He allowed four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts. … RHP Hunter Harvey (right pronator strain) made his first major league appearance since April 20 and pitched a scoreless sixth inning.

UP NEXT

Mariners: LHP Tommy Milone (0-1, 3.60 ERA) makes his first start of the season in Game 2 of the twinbill. He’s 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in six games – five starts – in his career against Washington.

Nationals: RHP Erick Fedde (5-6, 5.01 ERA) will start the second game. He has never faced the Mariners.

 

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.