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Betts homers in 9th, Kimbrel saves in return for Red Sox
SEATTLE (AP) — Mookie Betts homered to lead off the ninth inning, Craig Kimbrel got his 18th save in his return from knee surgery and the Boston Red Sox beat James Paxton and the Seattle Mariners 2-1 on Monday night.
Paxton held Boston to a run and four hits over eight innings before Betts hit his 22nd homer off closer Steve Cishek (2-6), who blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning Sunday against Chicago.
Kimbrel made his first appearance since having surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his left knee. He allowed a walk, and Kyle Seager reached on a third-strike wild pitch, but Kimbrel got two other strikeouts to end it.
Aaron Hill homered off Paxton in the eighth to tie the game 1-1.
Junichi Tazawa (2-1) got the win with a scoreless eighth after Eduardo Rodriguez held Seattle to a run and three hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Rodriguez held the Mariners to three baserunners in the first six innings, and only one of his first 19 outs even left the infield.
Dae-Ho Lee’s run-scoring double with one out in the seventh chased Rodriguez, who allowed three hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
Mariners claim infielder Freeman off waivers from Arizona
SEATTLE (AP) — The Mariners have claimed infielder Michael Freeman off waivers from Arizona and designated infielder Patrick Kivlehan for assignment.
Freeman was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma Monday.
The 28-year-old Freeman played in eight games for the Diamondbacks this year. He hit .317 in 88 games for Triple-A Reno in 2016.
Freeman is a career .290 hitter in 716 minor league games. The Diamondbacks selected him in the 11th round of the 2010 draft out of Clemson.
Kivlehan has spent time with Tacoma and Triple-A Round Rock this season.
Red Sox to call up top prospect Benintendi
SEATTLE (AP) — The Red Sox are calling up top prospect Andrew Benintendi from Double-A Portland, giving the big club a boost in the outfield hours after the non-waiver trade deadline passed.
Benintendi is expected to arrive before Boston’s game Tuesday night at Seattle, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters after a 2-1 win over the Mariners on Monday night.
Benintendi was the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft as a sophomore out of Arkansas. He’s since emerged as one of the top prospects in baseball after hitting .312 with nine homers, 76 RBIs and 16 stolen bases this season between Class A Salem and Portland.
The left-handed hitter also draws strong marks for his plate discipline, posting a .378 on-base percentage this year. He’s primarily played center field, where he’s considered a solid defender.
Boston has Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts entrenched in center and right field but has been playing Bryce Brentz and Brock Holt in left, meaning Benintendi could get regular at-bats while learning to play in front of the Green Monster.
Kam Chancellor refocused on teammates after 2015 holdout
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — After a contentious holdout last year that extended two weeks into the regular season, Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor is enjoying football again.
Chancellor is smiling and joking with teammates again. It’s an aspect of Chancellor’s personality that wasn’t often on display after he returned to the team last season.
Chancellor missed the first two games of 2015 as the Seahawks went 0-2 without him. However, Chancellor’s holdout resulted in nothing gained for the star safety and a massive amount of fines for the missed time.
He returned to the team and played in 11 regular-season games. An injured tailbone kept him out for three weeks in December. But despite not getting the new contract he desired, Chancellor says he has managed to turn the page on the contractual front and focus once again on his teammates.
Everyone reported for camp on time and the Seahawks feel strongly about the roster they’ve constructed.
WNBA’s 20th season produces strong numbers and ratings
NEW YORK (AP) — A milestone season has produced strong numbers for the WNBA.
The league has amassed more than 24 million video views across its social media platforms, nearly five times more than at this point last season. It also has seen a record number of subscriptions to WNBA League Pass, up more than 20 percent from last year.
The WNBA has made a huge marketing push this year — the league’s 20th season — and that certainly has helped.
Says WNBA President Lisa Borders: “This is a historic season and all the metrics are trending in a positive direction and we’re thrilled about that.”
ESPN has seen household ratings increase 100 percent over last year and 23 percent among viewers.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.