By HARVEY VALENTINE
WASHINGTON (AP) — Eugenio Suárez 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 Suárez 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 Rodríguez 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.
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.
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.
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