SEATTLE (AP) — Lars Nootbaar homered on the first pitch of the game, Nolan Gorman added a three-run shot and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Seattle Mariners 7-3 Sunday to prevent a three-game sweep.
Paul DeJong also went deep in his season debut and Jack Flaherty recovered from early trouble to pitch six solid innings for St. Louis.
Jarred Kelenic homered for the second consecutive day and Ty France had a two-run single for Seattle.
Gorman’s three-run homer to right-center put the Cardinals up 6-3 in the fourth. He has six home runs and an NL-leading 14 two-out RBIs this season. His tiebreaking drive came after second baseman Kolten Wong failed to catch J.P. Crawford’s throw on a double-play attempt after the shortstop fielded a liner from Paul Goldschmidt.
Nootbaar connected on the first pitch from Mariners starter Chris Flexen (0-4). DeJong had three hits, including a solo homer in the seventh, during his first game this season after returning from the injured list.
Flaherty (2-2) fell behind 3-2 in the second, but held the Mariners to one hit over the final 4 1/3 innings of his six-inning stint. He struck out nine with two walks, throwing 104 pitches.
The right-hander gave up five hits to extend his streak to 30 games of allowing six hits or fewer. He’s tied with Marcelino Lopez for seventh in major league history. Nolan Ryan is sixth with 31.
Kelenic hit a solo homer in the second, and France delivered a two-run single as Seattle batted around in the inning.
Tyler O’Neill tied it 3-all for the Cardinals with an RBI single in the third.
Nootbaar had a chance to meet with his personal baseball hero, Ichiro Suzuki, during the series. The two talked about Japan’s WBC championship, which Nootbaar helped the team win last month. Suzuki, a longtime Seattle star, is a special assistant to the chairman with the Mariners.
Cardinals newcomer Willson Contreras was tossed in the fifth for barking at the umpire as he walked back to the dugout after a swinging strikeout. Contreras smashed his bat following the at-bat, upset at two called strikes earlier in the plate appearance. It was his seventh career ejection.
DeJong went 3 for 4. He missed the first 21 games this season after injuring his back during spring training. To make room on the roster, INF Taylor Motter was designated for assignment.
Cardinals: LHP Jordan Montgomery (2-2, 4.84 ERA) starts Monday in the first of four games at San Francisco. Montgomery gave up career high-tying seven runs and 10 hits in his last appearance, an 8-7 loss to Arizona.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (1-1, 3.57) takes the mound Tuesday at Philadelphia to start a nine-game road trip.