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Tom Murphy, Mallex Smith rally Mariners to 3-2 win over Tigers

UPDATED: Fri., July 26, 2019

Seattle’s Mallex Smith, center, is mobbed by teammates, including J.P. Crawford, second from left, and Tim Beckham, second from right, after Smith hit a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers to score Kyle Seager and give the Mariners a 3-2 win Friday  in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Seattle’s Mallex Smith, center, is mobbed by teammates, including J.P. Crawford, second from left, and Tim Beckham, second from right, after Smith hit a walk-off RBI single in the ninth inning against the Detroit Tigers to score Kyle Seager and give the Mariners a 3-2 win Friday in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
By Chris Talbott Associated Press

SEATTLE – Mallex Smith hit an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Seattle Mariners a 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

Smith drove in Kyle Seager on a full-count pitch from reliever Jose Cisnero (0-1) to complete a three-run rally that started with Tom Murphy’s tying, two-run homer in the seventh.

Roenis Elias (3-2) pitched a 1-2-3 inning to get the win with help from shortstop J.P. Crawford, who made a diving stab and spinning, no-look throw for the third out of the ninth.

The victory gave the Mariners their first three-game winning streak since June 19-21.

Detroit has lost four straight and 10 of 11.

Tigers starter Daniel Norris entered the seventh with a 2-0 lead on homers by Brandon Dixon and John Hicks. The left-hander gave up a leadoff double to Daniel Vogelbach before Murphy hit his 10th home run on a 2-2 pitch.

Norris allowed five hits and struck out eight in 6 1/3 innings.

Seattle’s often porous defense came up with three big plays to keep the Tigers off the basepaths. Crawford’s was the best defensive stop. But the Mariners, who have committed 99 errors this year, kept rookie starter Yusei Kikuchi in the game by limiting the Tigers to their two solo homers.

First baseman Austin Nola turned an unassisted double play in the fourth after Miguel Cabrera’s leadoff single. Dixon hit a grounder to first, where Nola made the force out. Cabrera broke back to first on the grounder and was tagged by Nola as he attempted to slide.

Jeimer Candelario and Niko Goodrum opened the fifth with consecutive singles before Hicks sent a liner to center. Smith charged and made a shoe-top catch, firing quickly to second where Candelario was doubled up.

Kikuchi was pulled after giving up seven hits and four runs in six innings. Matt Wisler, Anthony Bass and Elias combined to strike out five in 2 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit.

After winning only five games in June, the Tigers have just two victories in July and are 1-13 overall against the AL West this season.

The Mariners promoted Ryan Court from Triple-A Tacoma and gave him a pinch-hit opportunity in the ninth, making the 31-year-old rookie the 58th player to appear on the roster this season. That easily leads the major leagues and is three shy of the team record set in 2017.

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