Seattle’s Tom Murphy (2) celebrates with J.P. Crawford (3) and Austin Nola (23) after Murphy hit a three-run home run off Tampa Bay’s Brendan McKay during the first inning the Mariners’ 9-3 win Monday in St. Petersburg, Florida. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Seattle’s Tom Murphy (2) celebrates with J.P. Crawford (3) and Austin Nola (23) after Murphy hit a three-run home run off Tampa Bay’s Brendan McKay during the first inning the Mariners’ 9-3 win Monday in St. Petersburg, Florida. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Murphy, Nola power Mariners to 9-3 win over Rays

The duo combined to drive in 7 of Seattle’s 9 runs in the victory.

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Brendan McKay couldn’t provide a lift for a depleted Tampa Bay rotation and was headed back to the minors after his latest start.

Tom Murphy homered twice and drove in four runs, Austin Nola also went deep and had three RBI, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Rays 9-3 on Monday night.

McKay (2-3) allowed seven runs, three hits and three walks over two innings. The lefty was coming off an outing last Tuesday at San Diego where he gave up four runs, five hits and six walks in four innings.

About an hour after the game, the Rays announced the two-way player had been optioned to Triple-A Durham.

“Certainly his last two outings, a little bit of a rut,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said before McKay’s demotion. “That happens. Brendan is going to be a really good pitcher. He’s got to work through some stuff right now.”

McKay has given up three or more runs in five straight starts after allowing three runs combined over his first three outings.

“Falling behind a lot early,” McKay said. “It’s a lot easier for hitters to hit when they’re able to be more aggressive and free. Then just making a couple quality pitches and not getting the results you want in outs or strikes. It kind of weighs on you mentally, and frustrates you and things can snowball from there.”

The Rays’ rotation is without AL Cy Award winner Blake Snell (left elbow), Tyler Glasnow (right forearm strain) and Yonny Chirinos (right middle finger inflammation) until at least sometime in September.

“You don’t replace those guys,” Cash said. “So, we’re trying to piece it together and we’re asking to get a lot of pitches out of some young guys. It’s challenging.”

Tommy Pham and Austin Meadows homered for Tampa Bay, which is 2-2 on a six-game homestand against Detroit and Seattle. The Rays had their lead over Oakland for the second AL wild card cut to one game.

Tampa Bay dropped to 33-30 at home, which matched the total number of losses at Tropicana Field (51-30) all of last season.

Murphy, who had three hits and a walk, hit a three-run drive in the first inning and added a solo shot in the fifth. He has 15 homers in 52 games.

“He’s making it look easy,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s on some kind of a hot streak. If he hits a third one, I’m going to do a cartwheel in the dugout, he’s going that good.”

Nola had a two-run homer during a four-run second off McKay and had an RBI single in the fourth.

Marco Gonzales (13-10) went five innings, giving up three runs and five hits to get the win.

The Rays used five relievers before turning to infielder Mike Brosseau, who worked a perfect ninth.

Murphy’s homer in the first was set up by consecutive one-out walks to J.P Crawford and Nola.

“Any time you can take advantage of walks as a team, that’s a huge thing for us,” Murphy said. “That’s why walks are so deadly for teams.”

Crawford had an RBI single and Nola hit a two-run shot in the second that helped put the Mariners up 7-1.

Pham got his third homer in five games leading off the first. Meadows had a two-run drive in the fifth.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Former Washington football coach Jim Lambright dies at 77

He spent nearly four decades with the Husky program as a player, assistant coach and head coach.

In this Feb. 21, 2001, file photo, Seattle Mariners’ manager Lou Piniella puts his arm around Japanese player Ichiro Suzuki as workouts begin at their spring training camp in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
POLL: Which Mariners season generates the best memories?

With the start of baseball season delayed, we conjure up positives from past Seattle seasons.

A shining moment in UW history is often forgotten

10 years later, Quincy Pondexter’s game-winner against Marquette in the NCAA tournament is lost in time.

Analysis: Seahawks have added depth to 2020 offensive line

Taking a look at all the o-linemen signed for next season and where they might fit on Seattle’s roster.

She’s 101 and bowled a 159 before coronavirus shut the lanes

Carol Perry can’t celebrate her 102nd birthday bowling Tuesday. But maybe her kids will get her a Wii.

Opening day comes and goes with no baseball

M’s fans, and employees, are left with a feeling of emptiness as the country battles a pandemic.

Edmonds-Woodway grad Hardy has Tommy John surgery

The relief pitcher, who signed with the Twins in the offseason, is expected to miss the 2020 season.

Indianapolis 500 postponed until August because of COVID-19

The historic IndyCar race won’t run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.

Storm’s Bird still plans to compete in 2021 Olympics

The WNBA legend, who turns 40 in October, still plans to play despite the Games being delayed.

Silvertips sign forward prospect Ben Hemmerling

The 2004-born forward was Everett’s third-round pick in the 2019 WHL bantam draft.

Wichita State’s Stevenson transferring to Washington

The shooting guard, who starred at Timberline, averaged 11.1 points per game last season.

Locals named to Associated Press all-state teams

Two local players earned all-state nods and six others were honorable mentions.