Rays Finally Breakthrough On Opposing Closer To Steal Victory In Ninth
The Tampa Bay Rays had threatened the opposing closer more than a coupe times during their 1-5 home stand last week. The Orioles Tommy Hunter managed to walk a tightrope in back to back games before watching his teammate Darren O’Day get into hot water when he came in to close out a game. The Indians John Axford was brought in with the Tribe holding a comfortable lead but was unable to finish the inning and after the game was removed as the teams closer.
Tonight it was Fernando Rodney‘s turn and unlike the other trio of closers he was unable to avoid the blown save failing to protect a 1-0 lead after eight marvelous innings by Seattle Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma. The Rays tied the game on a David DeJesus solo home run to open the top of the ninth and took a 2-1 lead on a Matt Joyce 2-out RBI single to drive in pinch runner Sean Rodriguez.
The Rays victory goes to David Price (4-3, 4.02 ERA) and their record improves to 17-23. Fernando Rodney (1-2, 3.31 ERA) is tagged with a blown save and the loss dropping the Mariners record to 20-19.
The Rays have made six previous trips into Seattle and played 20 games with David Price on the active roster but he had never had a career start against them at Safeco Field.
He certainly made a good impression on those in attendance as he tossed a complete game allowing only a first inning run on six hits striking out12 and walking none. His velocity was very good all night long sitting between 94-95 on his fastball.
Since coming off the disabled list last July 2, 2013 he has now thrown six complete games more than any other team in major league baseball (Rangers, Yankees, and Red all have five).
Hisashi Iwakuma frustrated the Rays in his eight innings of work allowing only four hits striking out five and walking none. His eight shutout innings increased his scoreless innings streak to 16 innings.
The Rays threatened him in the first inning when David DeJesus doubled with one-out to extend his hitting streak to nine games. The only other hitter to reach second base against Iwakuma was Matt Joyce in the fifth inning butJose Molina popped out to Robinson Cano to end the inning.
After eight stellar innings of work Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon turned to Fernando Rodney to protect the 1-0 lead against his former team.
The first batter he faced tied the game as David DeJesus homered. It was only Rodney’s seodn blown save in 13 opportunities this season.
Rodriguez moved into scoring position on a single by Desmond Jennings and came in to score the go-ahead run on a single by Matt Joyce.
David Price came out to finish the Mariners off in order in the ninth inning to earn the victory.