George Kirby, Eugenio Suarez lead Mariners past Rangers, 3-1

Sep 28, 2022, 9:27 AM | Updated: 10:39 pm
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby throws against the Texas Rangers during the first in...

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)

(AP Photo/Caean Couto)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 28: Eugenio Suarez #28 and J.P. Crawford #3 of the Seattle Mariners celebrate their 3-1 win against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on September 28, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) 
              Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Erik Swanson throws to a Texas Rangers batter during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Andres Munoz high-fives his teammates in the dugout after striking out two Texas Rangers during the eighth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              Seattle Mariners' Dylan Moore high fives his teammates in the dugout after scoring a run off of Eugenio Suarez' double against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              Seattle Mariners' Ty France celebrates with his teammates in the dugout after scoring a run off of Mitch Haniger's sacrifice fly during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              Seattle Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Jung fields a ball to catch Seattle Mariners' Ty France on a ground out during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Smith prepares to throw to first baseman Nathaniel Lowe for the out on Seattle Mariners' Sam Haggerty during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)
            
              Texas Rangers relief pitcher Joe Barlow throws to a Seattle Mariners batter during the eighth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Caean Couto)

SEATTLE (AP) — George Kirby allowed one run over six innings, Eugenio Suarez had three hits and an RBI and the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Trying to secure a playoff spot for the first time since 2001, Seattle rebounded after dropping the series opener Tuesday night.

The Mariners got a boost in the playoff picture when every other team in the American League wild-card race lost. Baltimore dropped 4 1/2 games behind the Mariners for the final wild-card spot. The Mariners are a half-game behind Tampa Bay and two back of Toronto for the top wild card.

“We played a crisp game tonight. Guys were on every pitch, the energy was great,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve had a nice year, but we need to get it turned, and hopefully it turned in the right direction tonight.”

Kirby (8-4) was coming off his worst start of the season, when he gave up five earned runs in 2 1/3 innings against Oakland. He returned to form against Texas, allowing just one run on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk. Kirby extended his franchise record to 14 starts without allowing a home run, the longest such streak in the majors this year.

Josh Jung had an RBI single in the first inning for Texas’ lone run. Jung has driven in all six of Texas’ runs in the first two games of the series.

The Mariners scored twice in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Suarez and a sacrifice fly from Mitch Haniger.

Suarez was 3 for 3 with a walk, tying his season high for hits. It was his second game back after going on the injured list for 10 days with a fracture in his right index finger.

“It’s kind of frustrating because you just want to go and go,” Suarez said. “I’m just happy to be back in 10 days, do my best and help my team win. We needed that.”

Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the third, but was only able to push across one run on a ground out by Carlos Santana. It was still enough, as Kirby and the bullpen kept the Rangers scoreless after the opening inning.

Texas starter Martin Perez (12-7) took the loss despite going seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits.

“He gave us a chance to win the ballgame,” Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said. “I thought it was an outstanding start from him. He battled, competed, it was just unfortunate we couldn’t muster enough offense.”

Kirby said he found himself rushing at times in the early innings with the pressure of the moment, but he was able to adjust.

“I just tried to slow myself down a little bit. Concentrate on my breath in between pitches, and I thought it worked out pretty well,” Kirby said.

Seattle relievers Eric Swanson, Andres Munoz and Paul Sewald each pitched a perfect inning to close out the game, with Sewald picking up his 20th save.

CHANGING THINGS UP

After losing 5-0 to the Rangers on Tuesday, Servais changed the team’s pregame routine Wednesday. The Mariners didn’t go through pregame warmups or batting practice and players were encouraged to arrive at the park later than usual for a “show and go” day.

“Sometimes you need that,” Suarez said. “It’s not just coming here and work, work, work. Sometimes you’ve got to take a little bit and relax.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: SS Corey Seager was out of the lineup after getting hit on the forearm with a pitch late in Texas’ victory on Tuesday night. The Rangers said it was just a contusion and Seager was day-to-day. Josh H. Smith got the start at shortstop with Seager out.

MARINERS: OF Julio Rodriguez could start resuming some baseball activity on Thursday and definitely by Friday, manager Scott Servais said. Rodriguez has been out with a lower back strain but the goal is to have him activated off the injured list when he’s eligible next Monday.

UP NEXT

Rangers: RHP Jon Gray (7-7, 3.64 ERA) starts the final game of the series. Gray is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in two starts against Seattle this season.

Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (10-15, 4.05) has lost his last three decisions. In his last outing he allowed four runs on eight hits in a loss to Kansas City.

___

More AP MLB coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) reacts after a score during the second half of the team's NBA b...
Associated Press

Hawks’ Trae Young, McMillan try to smooth over dispute

ATLANTA (AP) — Trae Young says he and Hawks coach Nate McMillan have smoothed over their disagreement regarding his not attending a game last Friday. Young, the team’s leading scorer, was out with a sore shoulder and did not attend the game the win over the Denver Nuggets. It is rare for an injured player […]
17 hours ago
TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws in the first half of the Big 12 Conference championship NCAA...
Associated Press

Bennett, Duggan, Stroud, Williams are Heisman finalists

Quarterbacks Stetson Bennett of Georgia, Max Duggan of TCU, C.J. Stroud of Ohio State and Caleb Williams of Southern California were announced as finalists for the Heisman Trophy on Monday night. The award given to the outstanding player in college football, determined by a vote of more than 900 sports journalists and past winners, will […]
17 hours ago
Philadelphia 76ers' Tobias Harris, left, Tyrese Maxey, center, and James Harden, right, look on fro...
Associated Press

Sixers’ Harden to return Monday against Rockets after injury

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden will return Monday night for the Philadelphia 76ers against the Houston Rockets after missing 14 games with a foot injury. Harden, who spent just more than eight seasons with the Rockets before being traded to Brooklyn in January 2021, last played Nov. 2. He had a tendon strain in his […]
17 hours ago
Associated Press

Blake scores 20, Green Bay beats IUPUI 68-61

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Zae Blake scored 20 points to help Green Bay defeat IUPUI 68-61 on Monday. Blake added three steals for the Phoenix (1-7). Clarence Cummings III scored 16 points, going 6 of 13 from the floor, including 2 for 5 from distance, and 2 for 5 from the line. Garren Davis […]
17 hours ago
Ydamelys Moreno, right, watches as fellow female boxers train in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022...
Associated Press

Boxing powerhouse Cuba lets women boxers compete

HAVANA (AP) — Legnis Cala Massó carefully removes her necklace and smiles as her coach slides her bright red boxing gloves over her French tip nails. The 31-year-old swings her wiry body into the ring and pounds her fellow boxer – also a young woman – with a series of punches, just as she’s done […]
17 hours ago
Baltimore Ravens players celebrate a touchdown by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) in...
Associated Press

Jackson’s injury a concern, but Ravens’ defense playing well

BALTIMORE (AP) — Thanks to Lamar Jackson’s injury and a surging Cincinnati team, the Baltimore Ravens suddenly have their work cut out for them if they want to win the AFC North. They did, however, take another step in that direction last weekend. The Ravens rallied late to edge the Broncos 10-9, and although Denver’s […]
17 hours ago
George Kirby, Eugenio Suarez lead Mariners past Rangers, 3-1