At the very least, Roenis Elias’ previous three starts had to cause a hint concern among Mariners’ brass.

The left-hander from Cuba had allowed 16 earned runs in 141/3   innings over the past month, and it was fair to wonder if the grind of a long season was starting to take its toll on the rookie.

For another reason, the ending of Elias’ start Monday also offered cause for concern, as he left the game abruptly with cramping in his left hand.

For one night, at least, both concerns abated after the Mariners’ 5-2 victory over the New York Mets.

Elias won his first game since June 22, pitching effectively into the sixth inning before a crowd of 21,943 at Safeco Field. After the game, he said his pitching hand was “good.”

“He just had a cramp in his hand, and I didn’t want to take a chance,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He was outstanding, and that was really good to see. He threw the ball extremely well.”

Elias (8-8), in his first start in 12 days, had allowed only one run on 90 pitches in 51/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked two.

After Elias struck out the Mets’ Lucas Duda, McClendon and trainer Rob Nodine came out to the mound to check on the rookie for the second time in the sixth inning. McClendon immediately made the decision to pull Elias.