PITTSBURGH (AP) – Marco Gonzales allowed six hits in seven innings, Austin Nola and Omar Narvaez hit back-to-back home runs and the Seattle Mariners beat Pittsburgh 6-0 on Tuesday night after Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vázquez was arrested on multiple felony charges earlier in the day.
Vázquez was charged with statutory sexual assault, soliciting a child and pornography, and placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball.
Vázquez was taken into custody by Pennsylvania State Police on one count of computer pornography/solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors, both felonies, stemming from an investigation in Florida. He was later charged in Westmoreland County, which is located east of Pittsburgh, with felony counts of statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact with a minor and corruption of minors and a misdemeanor count of indecent assault of a person under 16 years old.
Gonzales (16-11) struck out four, walked none and doubled and scored in the fifth inning. The left-hander has set career high in wins, starts (32) and innings pitched (189).
Sam Tuivailala and Reggie McClain each pitched one inning to complete the eight-hitter.
Narvaez and Nola each had three hits, and their consecutive home runs in the sixth inning off Michael Feliz extended the Mariners’ lead to 4-0. Shed Long led off the seventh with a homer off Williams Jerez as Seattle won its third straight game.
Nola has seven hits in his last two games following a 1-for-18 skid.
Rookie Mitch Keller (1-5) gave up two runs in five innings in falling to 0-4 in his last six starts. The Pirates’ Jose Osuna and Erik Gonzalez each had two hits.
Dee Gordon opened the scoring with a second-inning sacrifice fly and Gonzales scored on J.P. Crawford’s single to make it 2-0. Narvaez drove in the last run with a single in the seventh.
Workers removed a banner depicting Vázquez from outside PNC Park prior to the Pirates losing their fourth game in a row. Team president Frank Coonelly, general manager Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle addressed the players in a pregame meeting and there was a somber mood in the clubhouse afterward.
Vázquez’s arrest came eight days after he and fellow reliever Kyle Crick got into a clubhouse fistfight at San Francisco and were fined. Crick needed season-ending surgery to repair a torn extension tendon in his right index finger.
In July, reliever Keone Kela and bullpen coach Euclides Rojas were each suspended two games by the Pirates for their involvement in separate incidents.
“We talked about a lot of different emotions,” Hurdle said of the pregame meeting. “How do we connect and see our way through those emotions? How do we continue to find ways to improve and hold ourselves to a high standard, on and off the field, and what can we do from an organizational standpoint to help?”
Mariners: OF/DH Domingo Santana (strained right elbow) was activated from the injured list and grounded into a double play as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.
Pirates: 1B Josh Bell (strained left groin), CF Starling Marte (sprained right wrist) and C Jacob Stallings (back spasms) could miss the rest of the season, Hurdle said. . RHP Chris Stratton (right side inflammation) was reinstated from the IL.
The Pirates called up INF Jake Elmore from Triple-A Indianapolis and added INF Corban Joseph to the roster a day after claiming him off waivers from San Francisco.
A spot on the 40-man roster opened for Elmore when Vázquez was placed on the restricted list. Kela is expected to replace Vázquez as closer.
Mariners RHP Justin Dunn (0-0, 27.00 ERA) will face RHP Dario Agrazal (4-4, 4.91) on Wednesday night in a matchup of rookies. Dunn made his major league debut Sept. 12 against Cincinnati and allowed two hits and five walks in two-thirds of an inning. Agrazal gave up three runs in four innings in his last start, a no-decision Sept. 11 at San Francisco.