SEATTLE MARINERS

Kirby, Suárez lead Mariners past Rangers 3-1; magic number down to 3

Sep 28, 2022, 9:38 PM | Updated: 10:40 pm
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 Suárez had three hits and an RBI and the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: Box score

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, and their magic number to eliminate the Orioles and clinch a playoff spot is now at three.

“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 Suárez and a sacrifice fly from Mitch Haniger.

Suárez 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,” Suárez 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 Martín Pérez (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, Andrés Muñoz and Paul Sewald each pitched a perfect inning to close out the game, with Sewald picking up his 20th save.

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 Rodríguez could start resuming some baseball activity on Thursday and definitely by Friday, manager Scott Servais said. Rodríguez 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.

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Kirby, Suárez lead Mariners past Rangers 3-1; magic number down to 3