In a duel between old school and new school, Justin Verlander and George Kirby each pitched strong games as the Seattle Mariners faced the Houston Astros. A 2-1 game in 10 innings resulted in a win for the M's, whose offense eventually came through in the end to make the most of Kirby's great start.

Verlander went seven innings and allowed just one run while striking out nine, tying a season-high, and recording four 1-2-3 innings. The Mariners got just three hits and one walk off of him. Aside from a solo shot by Dominic Canzone, the M's only made it safely to second base once.

But Kirby also allowed just a lone run, going six innings while striking out eight and allowing six hits. He retired his first eight batters and allowed traffic on the basepaths just twice. With a runner on third and one out in the top of the sixth inning, Kirby got a strikeout and a groundout to prevent any further runs, ending his start without surrendering an extra-base hit.

In the 10th inning, J.P. Crawford hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to win it. Verlander had great things to say about Kirby after the game, according to Daniel Kramer of The Astros star knew it would be a low-scoring game with both of them on the mound.

“I knew it would be a low-scoring affair, but when I do watch him, he’s a guy that fills up the zone. He’s been great,” Verlander said of Kirby, via

George Kirby playing key role in Mariners' dominant pitching 

Kirby's pitching has been roughly in line with his past two seasons but doesn’t have the top-notch ERA to show for it. He's at 4.08 now after 68.1 innings. Still, he has a great track record and a great staff around him.

Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert and Bryce Miller have been strong for the Mariners this season. Bryan Woo has also stepped up tremendously, allowing four earned runs across 21.2 innings/four starts. Seattle has one of the best trios of starting pitchers and Kirby is a huge piece of it, even if he could be better.

The Mariners, at 31-26, are leading the AL West by 3.5 games. The Texas Rangers are their closest competition and could catch up if they get their primary pitchers off the injured list. If Seattle stays ahead, it will be the franchise’s first division title since 2001.

Justin Verlander posting strong season for Astros despite team's losing record

Verlander has been solid this season, posting a 3.26 ERA, and Ronel Blanco has been dominant, sporting a 1.99 ERA. Aside from them, the Astros have been up a creek without a paddle. Their three other starters all have below-average ERAs and Cristian Javier is still dealing with a forearm injury.

Things have not gone well for the Astros this season. At 24-32, they are falling further out of the playoff picture and fighting to stay above even the Oakland Athletics in the division standings. After six division championships in seven seasons, Houston's chances to contend seem to be slipping.