SEATTLE (AP) — Ty France hit a two-run homer into the left-field bullpen in the third inning, George Kirby threw six solid innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Los Angeles Angels 2- 1 Saturday to open a double program.
The French circuit came with two outs against starter Jaime Barria (1-2) and erased a one-run lead that came from Mickey Moniak’s RBI single in the second inning.
The free kick, which was France’s 300th hit with the Mariners, came a day after he had an equalizer in the ninth in a 4-3 10-inning loss to the Angels.
France has 14 circuits this season.
“The fact that I was able to shoot an overhead slider just shows that I was on time for a fastball,” France said. “That’s the biggest key. If I can be in time for a fastball, I’ll be in a good position and I feel like I can get there again.
Barria, making his first start of the season, went 4 2/3 innings while allowing three hits, two earned runs and four walks with three strikeouts.
He was retired after 76 pitches in favor of right-hander Mike Mayers after loading the bases with back-to-back walks in fifth. Mayers retired Eugenio Suarez on a pop-out to end the threat.
“I love what I saw,” Angels interim manager Phil Nevin said. “Mike was able to come in and get him out of the fifth, but for him to go that far and for those two guys to get the charge on this game, that really helps us for Game 2.”
Kirby (3-3) pitched well after a bumpy second inning, allowing six hits, one earned run and no walks with eight strikeouts. Saturday’s outing was the third time this season that Kirby has pitched at least six innings and allowed no walks.
The six-run outing was Kirby’s second win since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on July 23. The Mariners moved to Kirby in Tacoma on July 9 to limit the rookie’s workload.
“He looks great,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “After stopping him and giving him some breathing room, he came back and threw really well. The bike is still there, the secondary stuff is there, and it looks solid. That’s exactly what we need him to move forward.
Andres Munoz struck out three in relief and Erik Swanson pitched the ninth for his third save.
Mariners LHP Brennan Bernardino has been added to the roster as the Mariners’ 27th man. Bernardino made his major league debut for the Mariners on July 31 in Houston after being signed earlier this year outside of the Mexican League.
RHP Oliver Ortega was the Angels’ 27th man.
Mariners: DE Mitch Haniger (ankle) was back at the clubhouse ahead of Saturday’s Game 1 and could be activated in time for Game 2. Haniger has been out since April 30 with a sprained right ankle.
Angels: INF David Fletcher (foot) will play in Saturday’s nightcap after sitting out the last two games with a foot injury.
Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (7-8, 3.73) will kick off Game 2 for Seattle. Flexen allowed three hits and two earned runs against the Astros in his last start on July 30.
Angels: LHP Reid Detmers (3-3, 3.63) is on the mound for the Angels in the nightcap. Detmers allowed just three hits and one earned run in seven innings on July 31 against Texas.
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