Tom Murphy hit two home runs and drove in four runs as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 9-3 Monday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Austin Nola also homered for the Mariners, who improved to 5-2 on their nine-game trip to Detroit, Toronto and Tampa Bay.
Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows went deep for the Rays, who had a two-game winning streak snapped. The Rays’ lead over the idle Oakland A’s for the American League’s second and final wild card was trimmed to one game.
Mariners left-hander Marco Gonzales (13-10) pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Rays rookie left-hander Brendan McKay (2-3) was knocked out after two innings. McKay allowed seven runs, although only three were earned because of a couple of errors, on three hits with three walks and one strikeout.
The Mariners took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, J.P. Crawford and Nola walked. An out later, Murphy hit a three-run shot to left field.
The Rays got one run back in the bottom of the inning on Pham’s leadoff homer to left-center field, his 19th of the season.
The Mariners scored four unearned runs in the second to take a 7-1 lead.
Mallex Smith led off and reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Willy Adames. Keon Broxton then walked, sending Smith to second. Dee Gordon grounded into a forceout, but Smith scored and Gordon reached second on the play because of a fielding error by second baseman Eric Sogard.
Crawford’s two-out single to left scored Gordon, and Nola followed with a two-run shot to left-center, his seventh homer.
The Mariners added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 9-1 advantage, the latter on Murphy’s solo homer to left, his 15th.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Pham walked and Meadows followed with a two-run shot to right, his 21st.
Seattle relievers Erik Swanson (two innings), Taylor Guilbeau (one inning) and Cory Gearrin (one inning) blanked the Rays on one hit overall.
–Field Level Media