Arrow-right Camera

Color Scheme

Subscribe now
Seattle Mariners

J.P. Crawford delivers as Mariners walk off Astros in 10 innings

By Adam Jude Seattle Times

SEATTLE – A familiar foe on the mound, the Mariners played with a familiar futility against future hall of famer Justin Verlander.

In the end, they still somehow managed a familiar finish against the Houston Astros.

With the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning, J.P. Crawford hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field, easily scoring free runner Jonatan Clase from third base and giving the Mariners a 2-1 victory over their AL West rivals Wednesday night before a crowd of 25,437 at T-Mobile Park.

It’s the third walkoff victory of the season and fifth for Crawford in his career, giving the Mariners (31-26) their third straight victory over the Astros in the four-game series.

Dominic Canzone’s solo homer in the sixth inning broke up Verlander’s shutout, and George Kirby threw six sharp innings for the Mariners, who improved to 11-4 in one-run games despite matching a season high with 15 strikeouts.

The Mariners have won four in a row and improved to 18-10 at home. They are 14-5 against the Astros since the start of the 2023 season.

New Mariners reliever Mike Baumann worked a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 10th to strand the Astros’ free runner at second.

The Mariners had spoiled a prime chance in the bottom of the ninth, stranding Julio Rodriguez at third base with one out. The Astros’ Josh Hader struck out pinch hitter Ryan Bliss and then Mitch Haniger to escape.

Kirby rebounded from two rough starts on the road to pitch six sharp inning, scattering six hits (all singles) with no walks and eight strikeouts.

The Astros scored their lone run in the fourth inning when Jake Meyers sent a soft single to center field – 72.4 mph off the bat – on a 3-2 pitch with two outs. That scored Yordan Alvarez from third.

Kirby escaped a jam in the sixth to close out his night.

After an Alvarez single, Jeremy Peña beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out.

But Kirby struck out Alex Bregman with back-to-back splitters, then got Meyers to ground out to end in the inning, stranding the go-ahead run at third.

Kirby, in six starts at home this season, lowered his ERA to 2.72 ERA in 36.1 innings, with 42 strikeouts, three walks and one home run allowed.

In six road starts, Kirby has a 5.63 ERA, with eight homers in 32 innings.

Verlander was even better for the Astros.

The oldest active pitcher in the majors, the 41-year-old made his 39th start against the Mariners.

Gone is the upper-90s velocity that helped him win three Cy Young Awards, but this was vintage Verlander.

The tall right-hander scattered three hits over seven innings, with one walk and nine strikeouts, lowering his career ERA to 2.98 against Seattle.

He induced 15 swings and misses, and when the Mariners did make contact it was feeble.

Verlander’s only mistake was a 92-mph first-pitch fastball to Canzone in the sixth inning.

Canzone turned on the pitch at the top of the zone, blasting 108.8 mph off the bat for a 411-foot homer to right-center. It was the first “hard” contact (95 mph or greater) Verlander had allowed.

It was Canzone’s fifth homer of the season, and it tied the score at 1.