Rays rally in 9th, beat Mariners 7-6 to avoid sweep

Seattle Mariners' Tom Murphy (2) shakes hands with third base coach Chris Prieto (13) after Murphy hit a two-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Jalen Beeks during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Mariners are having a road trip to remember. Meanwhile, catcher Tom Murphy and third baseman Kyle Seager are enjoying red-hot streaks they won’t soon forget.

The Mariners captured their fourth straight victory and rallied to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, moving to 6-2 on their nine-game, three-city tour. The Mariners, assured of winning each series on the road trip, conclude the journey Wednesday with an afternoon getaway game.

“I love the energy around the team right now,’’ Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We’re enjoying going through the daily process. That’s hard to do in August when you’ve had kind of a rough year like we have. Our players are showing up and playing their tails off.’’

Tuesday night, they again got huge contributions from Murphy and Seager.

“Those guys are locked in, and it’s fun to watch,’’ Servais said.

Murphy’s two-run homer put the Mariners ahead to stay, 6-4, in the sixth inning. Seager’s two-run homer put the Mariners up in the first, and he added an RBI double in the seventh.

Murphy has homered in his last four games, the longest streak ever by a Mariners catcher. Overall, he has an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .355 (with seven homers and 16 RBI) since July 14.

“Honestly, it hasn’t been anything different with me, but just staying in the strike zone,’’ Murphy said. “I get in trouble when I start chasing (poor pitches). This road trip has been kind of a different animal. We’re getting all the big hits when we need them.’’

Seager has hit safely in 24 of his past 25 games. During that stretch, he is batting .359 with 11 homers and 24 RBI. He also has a season-high 14-game hitting streak.

“We’ve really been swinging the bats well, and there’s a lot of confidence in that,’’ Seager said. “We’re feeding off that. Everybody goes through stretches when you’re not (swinging well). We’ve also been pitching good and playing good defense. It all spirals for the positive.’’

Seager’s first-inning homer came on a 98 mph fastball from Diego Castillo, the Rays’ left-handed opener. It was estimated at 408 feet.

“That was some kind of home run,’’ Servais said. “I mean, that is about as impressive as I’ve seen in a long time. That ball just jumped out of here.’’

Mariners left-hander Tommy Milone (3-7) got the victory, even though he allowed four runs in five innings after following opener Matt Wisler, who pitched the first inning.

Milone retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced (surrendering just an intentional walk). That left it for relievers Mariners relievers Sam Tuivailala, Anthony Bass and Matt Magill, who combined for three scoreless innings to seal the victory.

Trailing 4-2 after four innings, the Mariners had a productive fifth inning.

Tim Lopes scored from third base on a wild pitch by Rays left-hander Jalen Beeks, making it 4-3.

With two outs and two runners aboard, Austin Nola smacked a base hit that initially bounced away from Rays left fielder Tommy Pham. Keon Broxton scored easily from second base, but J.P. Crawford, attempting to score from first, was cut down at the plate on a perfect relay throw from shortstop Willy Adames to catcher Mike Zunino, keeping the score at 4-4.

In the sixth, Seager drew a leadoff walk from Beeks, then Murphy picked on a 2-1 fastball, driving it into the left-field bleachers for a 6-4 Mariners lead.

“When you get on a roll, you feel better about yourself and how you’re preparing each day,’’ Servais said. “I hope we can ride it a bit longer. Everybody is doing their job.’’

NOTES: Servais said he will utilize right-hander Cory Gearrin (0-2, 3.79 ERA) as the opener in Wednesday’s series finale against the Rays. Gearrin will be followed by lefty-hander Wade LeBlanc (6-7, 5.40). The Rays counter with right-hander Charlie Morton (13-5, 2.77), the American League ERA leader. … The Mariners have their longest winning streak since July 24-30 (six games). … The Mariners have won 14 of their last 18 games at Tropicana Field. … Attendance was 7,455, a season low for any game involving the Mariners.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.