Balfour Exits To Boos As Mariners Shutout Rays 5-0
The Tampa Bay Rays were shutout for the eight time this season by the trio of Felix Hernandez, Yoervis Medina, Dominic Leone, and Charlie Furbush by a final score o 5-0. The loss goes to Grant Balfour (0-2, 5.79 ERA) and the Rays fall to 16-games below the .500 mark at 24-40. Yoervis Medina (3-1, 3.00 ERA) picks up the victory for the Mariners who improve to 33-29.
The game was scoreless heading into the ninth inning and Grant Balfour (0-2, 5.79 ERA) struck out the first two batters but the Mariners rallied for five runs.
Chris Archer delivered 6.1 innings of scoreless ball allowing just five hits striking out two and walking one. Jake McGee came in to retire both batters he faced to finish the seventh and Joel Peralta worked a scoreless eighth.
Grant Balfour came in to work the ninth and after striking out Dustin Ackley and Cole Gillespie he allowed a triple to Brad Miller. Willie Bloomquist followed with a walk and Endy Chavez pushed a single past Yunel Escobar to put the Mariners ahead 1-0.
James Jones gave the Mariners a comfortable lead by lining a triple over the leaping Kevin Kiermaier in right field to plate both Bloomquist and Chavez to put Seattle up 3-0. The Mariners weren’t done yet. After Robinson Cano walked Kyle Seager dolbed to drive in both Cano and Jones to put the Mariners up 5-0.
The Mariners best opportunity against Archer came in the top of the fifth inning. With one our Brad Miller walked, moved to second on a Willie Bloomquist single, and to third on a Endy Chavez single to load the bases. James Jones blistered a ball back up the middle that Archer knocked down and threw to home to retire Miller for the second out to bring Robinson Cano to the plate. Archer fell behind 3-o but came back to get the count full before Cano sent a line drive to Matt Joyce against the wall in left for the final out.
The Rays offense was unable to mount a threat against Felix Hernandez who worked 7 scoreless innings allowing four hits striking out a career high 15 while walking just one.
The Rays best opportunities against Hernandez came on a 2-out double by David DeJeus in the fourth inning and when Ben Zobrist reached third in the seventh inning.
For Hernandez his outing this afternoon was just a continuation of dominant pitching over his last five starts. In setting a career high by winning each of his last five starts he has posted a 2.34 ERA (10ER, 38.1IP).
He exited the game without the opportunity to earn the victory which means the elusive victory at Tropicana Field will have to wait. Prior to taking the mound today he had made three career starts in St. Pete but is 0-2 with a 4.18 ERA
His 14 strikeouts set a career high. He had three prior starts of 13 strike outs the most recent coming on June 28, 2012 versus the Boston Red Sox.