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May 9, 2022 9:22 am

‘Streaky’ Mariners look to push past foundering Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies won for the first time in May on Sunday and will look to take that momentum to the Pacific Northwest when they open a three-game series at the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

In getting their first win of the month Sunday in Game 1 of a doubleheader — beating the New York Mets 3-2 at home — the Phillies did it against Mets ace Max Scherzer.

They touched up Scherzer for three runs in the first four innings, got a strong start from Kyle Gibson, and received a perfect frame each from Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado and Corey Knebel to win the opener before losing 6-1 in Sunday’s Game 2.

Gibson improved to 3-1 with a 2.94 ERA, while Knebel notched his fifth save. Bryce Harper set the tone with a solo shot off Scherzer, his former Washington Nationals teammate, in the first inning and drove in two.

Philadelphia became the first team to beat Scherzer as a Met. It was the right-hander’s first loss to the Phillies since Sept. 2, 2020.

The Phillies will be without starting pitchers Zack Wheeler and Zach Eflin (COVID-19 injured list), but the team said both might rejoin the squad on the seven-game trip that includes three games in Seattle and four against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“We’ll figure it out,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. “One of them could be back. We’ve just got to wait and see what happens.”

Philadelphia’s Ranger Suarez (2-1, 4.63 ERA) will make his sixth start Monday and his first career appearance against the Mariners.

The left-hander lost in his last outing, a 6-4 defeat to the Texas Rangers in which he allowed five runs (three earned) and six hits in five innings.

Seattle also broke a losing streak — six games — by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 in 10 innings on Sunday.

After a successful 9-2 span, Seattle showed its streakiness by losing for the 10th time in the past 11 with Saturday’s 8-2 loss.

“We’ve been streaky,” manager Scott Servais said. “We’re going through a little adversity here. We continue to find out about each other, and you really find out a lot about people when things aren’t going well.”

While Ty France supplied the heroics with a walk-off single to left to break the skid — just Seattle’s second win in seven games against the Rays — it was the major league debut of heralded hurler George Kirby that was the rage on Sunday.

The organization’s top pitching prospect, Kirby overpowered the Rays with six shutout innings and lived up to all the billing of being a power pitcher with incredibly accurate control.

The right-hander showed no nerves in breezing through the six frames, yielding four hits, no walks and fanning seven. Of his 81 pitches, 15 were swings-and-misses by the Rays.

A product of Elon University, the 2019 first-round pick (20th overall) became the fourth Mariner to make his major league debut. He joined outfielder Julio Rodriguez and pitchers Matt Brash and Penn Murfee.

Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen (1-4, 3.10) had his Sunday start pushed back to make room for Kirby’s debut. The former Mets’ farmhand is 1-1 with a 7.56 ERA in four appearances (one start) against the Phillies.

Mariners shortstop J.P. Crawford (back spasms) is day-to-day after leaving Saturday’s game.

–Field Level Media

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