SEATTLE – The Yankees’ winning streak and red-hot offense was sabotaged by one of their (former) own.
George Kirby, who grew up a Yankees fan in Rye, suffocated them across eight scoreless innings in which he allowed just three harmless singles.
The Mariners finally took advantage in the bottom of the 10th inning, when Cal Raleigh led off with a walk-off single against Ron Marinaccio to hand the Yankees a 1-0 loss on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Park.
The Yankees did not take advantage of a gift in the top of the 10th, as DJ LeMahieu led off with a ground ball to shortstop that J.P. Crawford bobbled, putting runners on the corners. After Isiah Kiner-Falefa popped up, Jake Bauers walked to load the bases, but Anthony Volpe hit a grounder to third with the Mariners coming home for the force out.
Aaron Boone then used Franchy Cordero as a pinch-hitter – the manager had hoped Anthony Rizzo (stiff neck) would be available off the bench, but that was apparently not the case. Instead, Cordero struck out to leave the bases loaded.
Clarke Schmidt turned in his best start of the season, throwing 5 ⅔ scoreless innings while giving up three hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. The only thing that kept him from a deserved win was Kirby one-upping him for the Mariners.
After the Yankees had scored 30 runs over their last three games, they were silenced by Kirby. The right-hander began the game by going nine up, nine down until Gleyber Torres led off the fourth inning with a single, though he was soon erased when he overslid the bag trying to steal second base.
Schmidt, meanwhile, also cruised early while retiring the first eight batters he faced before walking No. 9 hitter Kolten Wong. The Mariners threatened to make it costly, as J.P. Crawford followed with a single that put runners on the corners.
But Schmidt got Ty France to hit a grounder up the middle that Gleyber Torres smoothly ranged to pick and throw to first to end the inning.
It was the second strong defensive play by Torres in as many innings, as he also made a sliding stop on another ball to his right to rob Cal Raleigh of a hit in the second.
After Torres’ single in the fourth, the Yankees did not have another base runner until Kyle Higashioka roped a one-out single in the sixth. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Greg Allen, who may have been bunting for a hit.
Torres then nearly came through again, but his line drive was snagged by a leaping Crawford at shortstop to end the threat.
Schmidt gave up a two-out single to Julio Rodriguez in the bottom of the sixth, at which point Aaron Boone pulled him at 84 pitches for Wandy Peralta. The lefty, brought in to face the left-handed hitting Jarred Kelenic, did the job, striking out the ex-Mets prospect.
In the seventh, DJ LeMahieu poked a two-out single to right field, giving Isiah Kiner-Falefa a chance to be the hero again. The red-hot utilityman put a charge into a ball, but Julio Rodriguez tracked it down on the run just in front of the wall in left-center field.
The Yankees then had an injury scare in the bottom of the inning, when Eugenio Suarez led off by drilling a bullet to right field. Greg Allen went back to the warning track trying to snag it, but he could not get it and instead slammed his left shoulder into the base of the wall. Boone and a trainer paid him a visit after he got up gingerly, but Allen remained in the game.
Peralta then stranded Suarez at second, getting two ground balls and a strikeout to escape.
The Mariners made sure Aaron Judge did not have a chance to win it for the Yankees in the top of the ninth, intentionally walking him with two outs. Willie Calhoun could not make them pay, flying out to end the inning.