SEATTLE MARINERS

Crawford hits walkoff sac fly, Mariners down Astros 2-1 in extras

May 29, 2024, 10:03 PM | Updated: 10:56 pm

Seattle Mariners celebrate after win vs Astros...

J.P. Crawford of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his walk-off sacrifice fly during a 2024 game. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

SEATTLE (AP) — J.P. Crawford drove in Jonatan Clase with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Seattle Mariners a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.

Seattle Mariners 2, Houston Astros 1: Box Score

A game dominated by pitching ended with Crawford lifting a fly ball to deep right field that allowed Clase to jog home and give the Mariners wins in the first three games of the four-game series with their AL West rival.

The winning run came after dominant starting pitching by Houston’s Justin Verlander and Seattle’s George Kirby. Verlander allowed one run, three hits and struck out nine over seven innings; Kirby allowed one run, six hits and struck out eight in six innings.

“That’s as good as it gets in this league, any league, Verlander and George going back and forth,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It was fun to watch when George was out there. It wasn’t so fun to watch when Verlander was out there. It was one of those games going into it you have to figure out a way to grind through it.”

The bullpens were equally strong. Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier, Austin Voth and Andrés Muñoz allowed one baserunner with six strikeouts over three innings. Mike Baumann (2-0) retired the Astros in order in the top of the 10th on a pair of fly outs and Jose Altuve’s groundout.

But Houston’s Tayler Scott (1-2) couldn’t find the same success. Dominic Canzone grounded out to second base to open the 10th, allowing Clase — the automatic runner — to advance to third. Cal Raleigh and Luke Raley walked to load the bases and Crawford drove a 0-1 pitch deep enough for Clase to score.

“Get the game over with, get the job done and let’s go home,” Crawford said. “Get a good pitch, don’t miss it. And, thankfully I didn’t miss it.”

Seattle missed a chance to win it in the ninth, but Julio Rodríguez was stranded at third base after Josh Hader struck out Ryan Bliss and Mitch Haniger.

Verlander was nearly flawless, giving up only Canzone’s fifth homer of the season with one out in the fifth inning. Canzone’s homer was his second since coming off the injured list two weeks ago and traveled an estimated 408 feet on a chilly night when the ball struggled to carry.

Verlander has pitched at least seven innings in five consecutive outings against the Mariners in the regular season dating to the 2022 season.

“They have an outstanding rotation, good bullpen. You know these are going to be close gamem,” Verlander said. “If you think you’re going to come in here and bang out five, six, seven runs a game, I don’t think that’s realistic.”

Kirby gave up Jake Meyers’ RBI single in the fourth inning but that was all the Astros could manage.

Kirby struck out eight and pitched at least six innings for the sixth time in seven starts. He’s allowed 11 earned runs struck out 42 and walked only three batters in 36 1/3 innings over six starts at home this season.

One of the keys for Kirby was landing his offspeed pitches early in the game. He also escaped a jam in the sixth leaving runners stranded at the corners.

“They’re aggressive and just got to make them feel uncomfortable. Used a lot of different offspeed tonight, I thought that worked really well,” Kirby said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Manager Joe Espada said RHPs Cristian Javier and José Urquidy are both getting additional opinions on the discomfort in their right forearms.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-5, 6.93) allowed three runs in five innings and took the loss in his last start against Oakland. Arrighetti has never pitched against Seattle.

Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (3-2, 3.06) threw eight shutout innings against the Astros on May 4 in Houston. Gilbert has allowed three earned runs or less in nine of 11 starts this season.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Watch: Mariners’ Luke Raley robs Astros of home run
• Is the real Julio back in Mariners’ lineup? ‘Best he’s looked all year’
• Seattle Mariners place Polanco on IL, call up prospect Ryan Bliss for debut
• Morosi: It’s ‘exactly the right time’ for Mariners to go all-in on trades
• Drayer: How Seattle Mariners are trying to find more consistency at plate

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