George Kirby’s gem, Cal Raleigh’s walkoff give Mariners wild victory in 10 innings

Tribune Content Agency

SEATTLE — The Mariners could not have asked for any more from George Kirby.

They got just enough from their beleaguered offense.

George Kirby shut out Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees over eight innings in the most impressive start of his young career, and Cal Raleigh came through with the game-winning hit in the 10th inning to give the Mariners a wild 1-0 victory Wednesday night before a crowd of 24,596 at T-Mobile Park.

Raleigh hit a solid line drive to right field off Yankees reliever Ron Marinaccio to score automatic runner Jose Caballero from second base, giving the Mariners their second walkoff win in four days to avoid being swept by the Yankees.

The Mariners (29-27) closed this 10-game homestead with a 7-3 record.

Kirby, rocked for seven runs five days earlier against the Pirates, pitched the best game of his young career Wednesday,

Kirby got some typically spectacular defense behind him.

J.P. Crawford made a sprawling catch to glove a 106-mph line drive off the bat of Gleyber Torres for the final out of the top of the sixth inning, stranding Kyle Higashioka at second base.

That was the only runner the Yankees advanced into scoring position against Kirby.

Julio Rodriguez made a terrific running catch at the wall in left-center field to haul in a Isiah Kiner-Falefa drive for the final out of the seventh inning.

Kirby had gotten Judge to fly out to Jarred Kelenic on the warning track in left field for the first out of the seventh inning.

That ended an edge-of-your-seat, seven-pitch at-bat in which Kirby threw just about everything he had at the reining AL MVP. Kirby finally got Judge out, for the third time, on an 82-mph curveball that Judge just got underneath.

Judge had hit three homers in the first two games of the series, when the Yankees outscored the Mariners by a combined 20-6 while roughing up two of Seattle’s best young starters, Bryce Miller and Logan Gilbert.

Kirby wasn’t going to let it happen a third night in a row.

He retired the first nine Yankees in order, hitting 99.1 mph on a fastball to strikeout the leadoff hitter, Torres. It was the fastest pitch Kirby has thrown in his career.

Kirby retired Judge all three times he faced him. Judge grounded out sharply to Crawford in the first inning, and Kirby struck him out in the fourth inning with three straight fastballs, after falling behind 0-2.

When Judge came up to bat in the ninth inning, with two outs and Paul Sewald on the mound, Mariners manager Scott Servais elected to intentionally walk Judge.

It worked. Sewald got Willie Calhoun to fly out for the final out of the ninth.

In the top of the 10th, the Mariners escaped a bases loaded jam with one out when reliever Justin Topa struck out pinch-hitter Franchy Cordero on a 3-2 fastball on the inside corner.