Leonys Martin looked right at home in the leadoff spot.
Martin got four hits, Robinson Cano drove in two runs and the Seattle Mariners swept Cincinnati 5-4 Sunday, sending the Reds to their seventh straight loss.
Seattle manager Scott Servais was impressed with Martin’s second start of the season at leadoff, filling in for the injured Ketel Marte.
“He got us going a couple of times,” Servais said. “He’s a dynamic player. He can do a lot of different things. He sparked us.”
Martin was careful to avoid being overwhelmed by his new role.
“I just tried to stay in my game, that’s all,” Martin said. “I didn’t try to do too much.”
Steve Clevenger bounced back from a frustrating first two at-bats to hit a tiebreaking single during a three-run fifth inning. The Mariners won all three games at Great American Ball Park and posted their fourth win in a row.
“I was just missing pitches,” Clevenger said, “That third at-bat, I relaxed and said, ‘Whatever happens, happens.’ He (Reds starter Alfredo Simon) got a (split-fingered fastball) up and I put it in play.”
The Reds went 0-5 on their homestand. Brandon Phillips drove in two runs with a double during a three-run first inning and Adam Duvall later hit his eighth homer.
Wade Miley (5-2) shook off that rocky first inning to last six innings, giving up eight hits and four runs with six strikeouts and a walk. He improved to 5-0 over his last six starts, all Seattle victories.
“Miley hung in there,” Servais said. “He made adjustments and did a really good job again.”
Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his 10th save.
Simon (1-5), who allowed a career-high 10 runs while not getting through the fifth inning of his previous start, gave up nine hits and five runs in five innings.
“Simon had early success with his split, but later, he started to get the pitch up,” manager Bryan Price said. “The worst thing for a groundball pitcher is to get your pitches up. A couple of times, he got the ball down in the zone, then elevated them.”
Said Simon: “I’m not doing anything different. I have to focus and keep my head up.”
The Mariners have won eight of their last nine one-run decisions after starting the season 1-5. They are 13-2 against the Reds in interleague play.
Martin, who has batted higher than seventh just once this season, excelled hitting leadoff. He scored the first run on Cano’s sacrifice fly.
Jay Bruce capped Cincinnati’s first-inning burst with a sacrifice fly. Duvall led off the fourth with a 457-foot drive deep into the left-center field seats.
Miley led off the third with a single in his first plate appearance of the season, his first hit since he was in the National League with Arizona in 2014. He scored on Cano’s single and Nelson Cruz followed with an RBI groundout.
Mariners: Marte was put on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb, a day after being injured. INF Chris Taylor was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.
Reds: Bruce returned to the starting lineup after sitting out a day with a sore left knee. He got hurt banging into the outfield wall on Friday.
Shawn O’Malley’s start at shortstop in place of Marte was his first at that position and just the second appearance at that spot in his major league career. He played two innings at shortstop earlier this season.
The Reds added RHPs Dayan Diaz, A.J Morris and Josh Smith to their bullpen from Triple-A Louisville, filling the slots left open on Saturday when Jumbo Diaz and Keyvius Sampson were optioned and Steve Delabar was designated for assignment. Dayan Diaz made his major league debut, pitching the sixth.
Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez struck out four times, finishing the series with 10 strikeouts. Suarez was 0 for 11 with a walk in the three-game series.
The Reds open an 11-day, 10-game road trip at Dodger Stadium. LHP Brandon Finnegan (1-2) is scheduled to start after giving up a career-high eight hits in 5 2/3 innings last Wednesday against Cleveland. Clayton Kershaw (6-1) is set to pitch for Los Angeles.