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News / Sports / National Sports

Mariners hold off A’s to get Kirby first win in nearly a month

Seattle closer Andrés Muñoz injured in 9th inning while covering home plate

By MICHAEL WAGAMAN, Associated Press
Published: June 4, 2024, 10:00pm
5 Photos
Seattle Mariners pitcher George Kirby works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, June 4, 2024.
Seattle Mariners pitcher George Kirby works against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, June 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) Photo Gallery

OAKLAND, Calif. — George Kirby had nine strikeouts in five innings for his first win in nearly a month, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Josh Rojas had three hits, Luke Raley added two hits and an RBI, and Ty France drove in a pair of runs to keep the AL West-leading Mariners rolling on manager Scott Servais’ 57th birthday.

Coming off a 6-1 homestand, Seattle has won four straight and eight of nine.

“I feel like we’re starting to hit a stride but we still got so much room to do better,” Kirby said. “We’re pitching well, we’re hitting well. We’ve got a good team. It’s about time.”

Abraham Toro had an RBI single and JJ Bleday singled twice for Oakland. The A’s have lost five of six.

The game drew another low crowd of 5,624 to the Coliseum. Not far away, the Oakland Ballers attracted a sellout crowd of more than 4,200. The Ballers are an independent minor league club in the Pioneer League that was formed in response to the A’s announced intention to relocate to Las Vegas.

Kirby (5-5), who had two losses and a no-decision in his previous three starts, was mostly sharp against the A’s. He allowed six hits and two runs with one walk.

The Mariners right-hander has been one of baseball’s most efficient strike throwers this season. The walk was only the seventh in 73 1/3 innings that Kirby has allowed this season.

“I thought George’s stuff was really good.” Servais said. “There were just no easy outs. They were fouling balls off, created some traffic against him. He made some huge pitches to get out of it.”

Three Mariners relievers each pitched a scoreless inning after Kirby left. Andrés Muñoz allowed a run in the ninth on a wild pitch before leaving with back soreness. Tayler Saucedo retired Brent Rooker on a comebacker for the final out and his second save.

“Their pitching staff is one of the better pitching staffs in the league,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “I thought we did a pretty darn good job against Kirby. But at the end of the day we couldn’t get the big hit.”

The Mariners got to A’s starter Mitch Spence (4-3) for four doubles and three runs in the third. France drove in two runs, then scored on Raley’s double.

After the A’s reached Kirby for a run in the bottom of the inning — the first run allowed by a Mariners starter in four games — Rojas beat out a two-out infield single to drive in Dylan Moore.

“I do think our offense is starting to roll a little bit,” Servais said. “ On road trips, no matter where you’re at, you need multiple guys to contribute. That’s what’s going on right now.”

Spence allowed nine hits and four runs in six innings.

Before the game, the Mariners announced the signing of free agent outfielder Victor Robles.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: INF Luis Urias cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (stress reaction right foot) was transferred to the 60-day injured list amid a flurry of moves that the A’s made in reaction to Michael Kelly’s suspension. … LHP Lucas Erceg (strained right forearm) has began playing catch and could throw a full bullpen session as early as Sunday, according to manager Mark Kotsay. LHP Sean Newcomb was reinstated from the 60-day IL. RHP Vinny Nittoli was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas. … RHP Aaron Brooks was outrighted to Las Vegas after being designated for assignment Sunday.

UP NEXT

Mariners RHP Logan Gilbert (3-3, 3.29 ERA) has 41 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings against the A’s. Oakland counters with RHP Joey Estes (1-1, 6.10), who has a win and loss in two career starts against Seattle.

————

MARINERS 4, ATHLETICS 3

Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Crawford ss 5 1 1 0 0 1 .211
Rojas 3b 5 1 3 1 0 2 .288
Rodríguez cf 4 0 1 0 0 0 .269
France 1b 3 1 1 2 1 0 .252
Raley lf 4 0 2 1 0 2 .271
Haniger dh 4 0 1 0 0 0 .221
1-Bliss pr-dh 0 0 0 0 0 0 .091
Garver c 3 0 0 0 0 0 .167
Raleigh c 0 0 0 0 1 0 .209
Canzone rf 4 0 0 0 0 2 .164
Moore 2b 4 1 1 0 0 0 .224
Totals 36 4 10 4 2 7
Oakland AB R H BI BB SO Avg.
Toro 3b 4 0 1 1 1 0 .277
Andujar lf 5 0 1 0 0 1 .368
2-Cameron pr 0 0 0 0 0 0 .238
Bleday cf 4 1 2 0 1 1 .249
Rooker dh 4 0 1 0 1 0 .279
Langeliers c 4 0 0 1 0 3 .206
Brown rf 1 0 0 0 3 1 .196
Davis 1b 4 0 1 0 0 1 .226
Gelof 2b 4 1 1 0 0 2 .184
Schuemann ss 4 1 1 0 0 2 .267
Totals 34 3 8 2 6 11
Seattle 003 100 000—4 10 0
Oakland 001 001 001—3 8 1

1-ran for Haniger in the 8th. 2-ran for Andujar in the 9th.

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E—Schuemann (6). LOB—Seattle 7, Oakland 10. 2B_Crawford (7), Rojas (9), France (9), Raley (5), Gelof (6), Rooker (13). RBI—France 2 (26), Raley (16), Rojas (11), Toro (21), Langeliers (30). SB—Moore (9), Bliss (3).

Runners left in scoring position—Seattle 5 (Garver, Canzone, Haniger 2, Rodríguez); Oakland 6 (Gelof 4, Rooker, Davis). RISP—Seattle 4 for 12; Oakland 2 for 10.

Runners moved up—Crawford, Rooker, Langeliers, Davis. GIDP—Haniger, Andujar.

DP—Seattle 1 (Moore, France); Oakland 1 (Schuemann, Gelof, Davis).

Seattle IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Kirby, W, 5-5 5 6 2 2 1 9 94 4.05
Voth, H, 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 12 3.28
Stanek, H, 10 1 0 0 0 1 0 7 3.68
Thornton, H, 7 1 0 0 0 2 1 23 3.60
Muñoz, H, 4 2-3 2 1 1 0 1 15 1.73
Saucedo, S, 2-4 1-3 0 0 0 1 0 15 3.00
Oakland IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA
Spence, L, 4-3 6 9 4 4 1 3 99 3.86
Newcomb 2 1 0 0 1 3 35 0.00
Alexander 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 2.84

Inherited runners-scored—Voth 2-1, Saucedo 1-0. IBB—off Newcomb (Raleigh). WP—Muñoz.

Umpires—Home, Hunter Wendelstedt; First, John Tumpane; Second, Nick Mahrley; Third, Jonathan Parra.

T—2:48. A—5,624 (46,847).

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