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SEATTLE (AP) — Tom Murphy hit a two-run home run in the second inning and added a solo shot in the sixth, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 on Friday night for their eighth win in 11 games.
Seattle continued to inch closer in the AL wild-card race, pulling within one game of New York for the second spot in the logjammed standings.
Murphy’s fifth career multihomer game was the catalyst on a night a couple of defensive mistakes handed Arizona three runs. Murphy’s two-run shot in the second gave Seattle a 3-2 lead, and his solo blast in the sixth just cleared the fence in deep left-center field. Both homers came off Arizona starter Madison Bumgarner.
J.P. Crawford led off the game with a solo homer for Seattle, and Ty France had a key two-out, two-strike single in the fifth inning that scored Dylan Moore and snapped a 3-3 tie.
Bumgarner (7-10) pitched six innings, but the three home runs allowed were a season-high.
Marco Gonzales (8-5) threw six innings, scattered four hits and allowed three unearned runs. France’s two-out error in the second kept the inning going and Henry Ramos followed with a two-run homer, the first of his career after 916 minor-league games.
An inning later, Gonzales’ throwing error on a pick off attempt advanced Ketel Marte to third and he scored on Carson Kelly’s sacrifice fly.
Arizona pulled within 5-4 when prospect Seth Beer hit a solo homer off Diego Castillo in the eighth inning in his first major league at-bat. Beer was called up from Triple-A Reno earlier in the day and was the first Arizona player to homer in his first career at-bat since John Hester in 2009.
Castillo escaped the eighth, and Drew Steckenrider struck out the side in the ninth for his eighth save.
Beer was the latest of Arizona’s prospects to join the major league club. Beer hit .287 with 33 doubles, 16 homers and 59 RBIs for Reno this season. Beer is likely to be in the starting lineup as the designated hitter for the Diamondbacks on Saturday but will also be worked in at first base.
IF Drew Ellis was optioned to Reno to clear a spot for Beer.
Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly (COVID-19 IL) threw four innings during an Arizona rookie league game on Thursday. Kelly threw more than 60 pitches. Manager Torey Lovullo said it hasn’t been decided but Kelly’s next start could come in the majors. ... RHP Tyler Clippard was placed on the COVID-19 injured list earlier this week but has continued to test negative. Lovullo believed Clippard needed one more negative test and could be activated.
Mariners: RHP Justin Dunn (shoulder) threw a simulated game. Manager Scott Servais said they need to see how Dunn feels coming out of it, and he will likely would need one more outing like that before considering a rehab assignment. ... OF Jake Fraley (shoulder) could join Triple-A Tacoma on a rehab assignment sometime this weekend.
Diamondbacks: RHP Humberto Castellanos (1-1, 3.65) starts again against Seattle. Castellanos allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Mariners last weekend. This will be his first career road start.
Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (11-5, 3.56) will make his second straight start against Arizona. Flexen threw six innings and allowed three runs but received a no decision last week. Seattle is 18-8 in Flexen’s 26 starts this season.
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Tim Booth, The Associated Press