ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Tom Murphy’s home run— his sixth in the past four games — broke a tie in the sixth inning and lifted the Seattle Mariners to a 7-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
Murphy’s 16th homer of the season came off Jalen Beeks (5-3) after a walk to Kyle Seager. Murphy became the first Mariners catcher to homer in four straight games.
Tommy Milone (3-7) got the win after giving up four runs in five innings of relief, helping Seattle to its sixth victory in eight games. Matt Magill pitched the ninth for his second save in two tries.
The Rays began the day one game ahead of Oakland for the AL’s second wild-card spot.
Seager’s 17th home run, off Rays opener Diego Castillo, drove in Seattle’s first two runs. It was Seager’s eighth homer during a 14-game hitting streak, and he drove in another run with a double in the seventh.
Willy Adames and Kevin Kiermaier had back-to-back hits in the second inning and again in the fourth, helping Tampa Bay take a 4-2 lead off Milone.
Austin Nola’s two-out double brought the Mariners back to a 4-4 tie in the fifth.
Castillo and Seattle opener Matt Wisler pitched one inning each.
MARINER PITCHING PLANS
The Mariners will call up 23-year-old LHP Justus Sheffield for his first major league start Friday night against Toronto. With RHP Felix Hernandez plugged back into the rotation Saturday, LHP Yusei Kikuchi will be bypassed this time around after pitching a shutout on Sunday. Manager Scott Servais explained that the plan to skip Kikuchi for one turn was made before his complete-game shutout against the Blue Jays.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez, who last pitched on May 11, will pitch Saturday night’s game against Toronto. Hernandez pitched in four rehab games after recovering from shoulder soreness. … OF Domingo Santana was placed on the injured list with right elbow inflammation.
Rays: AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell (left elbow bone chip surgery) is throwing at around 90 feet on level ground. Snell is a graduate of Shorewood High School.
RHP Charlie Morton (13-5, 2.77) will pitch Wednesday for the Rays in the season series finale against a Mariners opener to be followed by LH Wade LeBlanc (6-7, 5.40). In his past three starts, Morton has struck out 29 and walked none.