Kirby Throws 7 Sharp Innings, Mariners Blank Rangers 5-0
SEATTLE (AP) — George Kirby struck out nine in seven sharp innings, Tom Murphy hit his first homer in more than a year, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 5-0 on Tuesday night.
The Mariners have limited the powerful Rangers to two runs in two games, though they lost the series opener 2-1.
“Our pitching is unbelievable right now,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We are rolling right now, night after night.”
Kirby (4-2) walked none and has only issued three free passes in his seven starts this season. He allowed only two Rangers batters to reach scoring position as his ERA dropped to 2.62.
“Another good fastball like we saw last night and a big curve going,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s been throwing the ball very well and we knew we had our hands full and it’s a good staff over there.”
Murphy’s two-run homer in the seventh off Andrew Heaney (2-3) made it 4-0. It was the first long ball since April 9, 2022 for the Seattle catcher, who was limited to 14 games last year because of injury. Murphy finished 2-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.
He was just as elated to finally grasp the Trident, the Mariners’ newest prop for the season to celebrate home runs.
“As badly as I wanted to homer, that’s for sure,” Murphy said.
Heaney gave up four runs, three earned, in 6 2/3 innings as the Rangers’ three-game winning streak was snapped. He allowed Murphy’s homer after AJ Pollock reached on third baseman Josh Jung’s throwing error, extending the inning.
Ty France had a two-run single in the third that extended his hit streak to seven games. Pollock had a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Justin Topa and Juan Then each worked a scoreless inning of relief for Seattle.
After Murphy scored on France’s hit, Josh Smith’s throw from left field ricocheted off France’s stagnant bat on the second hop a few feet away from the plate as Sam Haggerty scored. Without the deflection, the play at the plate would have been closer.
Texas placed OF Travis Jankowski on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 8, with a right hamstring strain and recalled C Sam Huff from Triple-A Round Rock. Huff batted .267 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in 22 games at Round Rock. Jankowski has batted .309 with a team-high five stolen bases in 25 games.
Texas: RHP Jacob deGrom (right elbow inflammation) continues to play catch, but hasn’t thrown on a mound yet. Manager Bruce Bochy said he believes deGrom is weeks away from returning.
Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford sat out for the second straight game after taking a foul ball off his left knee on Sunday. He expects to return Wednesday.
Rangers RHP Dane Dunning (2-0, 1.42 ERA) takes the mound against Mariners RHP Luis Castillo (2-0, 2.38) as the three-game series concludes.