Tom Murphy, Austin Nola lead Mariners to 9-3 win over Rays
By MARK DIDTLER
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Tom Murphy homered twice and drove in four runs, Austin Nola also went deep and had three RBIs, and the Seattle Mariners beat the playoff-contending Tampa Bay Rays 9-3 on Monday night.
Mariners 9, Rays 3: Box score
Murphy, who had three hits and a walk, hit a three-run drive in the first inning and added a solo shot in the fifth. He has 15 homers in 52 games.
“He’s making it look easy,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s on some kind of a hot streak. If he hits a third one, I’m going to do a cartwheel in the dugout, he’s going that good.”
Nola had a two-run homer during a four-run second off Rays two-way player Brendan McKay (2-3) and had an RBI single in the fourth.
Marco Gonzales (13-10) went five innings, giving up three runs and five hits to get the win.
Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows homered for Tampa Bay, which is 2-2 on a six-game homestand against Detroit and Seattle. The Rays had their lead over Oakland for the second AL wild card cut to one game.
Tampa Bay dropped to 33-30 at home, which matched the total number of losses at Tropicana Field (51-30) all of last season.
McKay struggled again, allowing seven runs, three hits and three walks over two innings. The lefty was coming off an outing last Tuesday at San Diego where he gave up four runs, five hits and six walks in four innings.
The Rays used five relievers before turning to infielder Mike Brosseau, who worked a perfect ninth.
Murphy’s homer in the first was set up by consecutive one-out walks to J.P Crawford and Nola.
“Any time you can take advantage of walks as a team, that’s a huge thing for us,” Murphy said. “That’s why walks are so deadly for teams.”
Crawford had an RBI single and Nola hit a two-run shot in the second that helped put the Mariners up 7-1.
Pham got his third homer in five games leading off the first. Meadows had a two-run drive in the fifth.
Mariners: RHP Félix Hernández (right shoulder stiffness) made what could be final rehab start Monday night for Triple-A Tacoma. He gave up one run and four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in three innings. … OF Mitch Haniger (ruptured testicle) could be back during a six-game homestand that starts Friday.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (right forearm strain) had his first bullpen session and could throw BP next week. … INFs Brandon Lowe (right shin bone bruise) and Joey Wendle (right wrist inflammation) will join Triple-A Durham on Tuesday.
BACK OUT THERE
Mariners RF Mallex Smith started after being out of lineup the previous two games. Smith was thrown out at second base Friday trying to stretch a single into a double, one of multiple baserunning errors recently by Seattle.
Mariners CF Keon Broxton had a fastball by Diego Castillo go off the bill of his helmet in the eighth inning. He was fine afterwards.
Mariners LHP Tommy Milone (2-7) will follow an opener Tuesday night. Rays LHP Jalen Beeks (5-2) is expected to start or also follow an opener.