Julio Rodriguez had a two-run single and fellow rookie George Kirby tossed 5 2/3 strong innings to fuel the visiting Seattle Mariners to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday in Arlington, Texas.
Mitch Haniger had three hits and Rodriguez added two more in his first game since being activated from the 10-day injured list. Rodriguez had been sidelined due to a right wrist contusion.
J.P. Crawford had a sacrifice fly and Eugenio Suarez’s double allowed two runs to score in the ninth inning for the Mariners, who have won nine in a row against Texas and 12 of 14 encounters this season. Seattle also moved a season-high 10 games above .500 after handing the Rangers their eighth loss in their last 11 contests.
It was manager Scott Servais’ 500th career win, all with the Mariners.
Carlos Santana ripped a one-out double off Taylor Hearn (5-7) in the fourth inning and advanced to third after a pair of walks. Jose Leclerc relieved Hearn and promptly surrendered a single to right field by Rodriguez that plated both Santana and Adam Frazier and staked the Mariners to a 3-1 lead.
Jonah Heim’s RBI single in the sixth inning scored Corey Seager to both halve the deficit and chase Kirby (4-3) from the game. Matt Brash relieved Kirby and stranded runners on the corners by striking out Leody Taveras to end the inning.
Crawford regained his team’s two-run cushion with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning. Suarez’s double plated Haniger, while Dylan Moore scored after shortstop Seager was unable to cleanly field a relay throw.
Kirby won his second straight start after allowing two runs on seven hits.
Brash and Andres Munoz combined to strike out five batters over the next two innings before Erik Swanson retired the side in the ninth to end the game.
Hearn relieved starter Josh Sborz and surrendered three runs on as many hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings.
Seattle opened the scoring in the third inning after Crawford came around to score on Ty France’s groundout to second base.
Texas responded in its half of the third inning after rookie Ezequiel Duran had a one-out single and advanced to third on Brad Miller’s base hit. Duran scored on Marcus Semien’s groundout to third base.