Rays Losing Streak Ends At Ten, Shutout Mariners 4-0
The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Seattle Mariners by a final score of 4-0 ending their 10 game losing streak. The victory improves their record to 24-38 and the loss snaps the Seattle Mariners five game winning streak as they fall to 31-29.
It’s easy to list the numerous ways the Tampa Bay Rays have been losing but figuring out a remedy to their problems is not always as obvious. Entering tonight’s game against the Seattle Mariners the Rays had lost ten games in a row. The eighth time in franchise history in which they have had a losing streak of ten or more games but only the second time since becoming the Rays in 2008 (lost 11 in a row from September 3 through 13, 2009).
Usually a good step to ending a teams losing streak starts with getting a quality start (min six innings pitched and less then or equal to three earned runs) from the starter. Unfortunately, the Rays had lost their last four games when their pitcher delivered a quality start but did begin the season posting a 16-1 record in such games.
Erik Bedard (3-4, 3.61 ERA) had gone 2-0 in his two previous quality starts (May 4th vs Yankees, May 10 vs Indians) and delivered his third of the year tonight shutting the Mariners out for six innings on four hits striking out eight and walking one.
One day after Jake McGee saw his streak of retiring 21 straight batters come to an end while giving up two earned runs to the Miami Marlins he came in and worked a scoreless seventh inning striking out Justin Smoak, Stefen Romero, and Cole Gillespie.
The strikeout of Romero gave the Rays pitching staff ten for the game marking the first time in franchise history that their pitching staff has had six consecutive games with double digit strikeouts.
Joel Peralta worked a scoreless eighth inning marking his 12th scoreless appearance in his last 13 outings.
Grant Balfour came in and worked a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation to secure the Rays 4-0 win.
Chris Young (5-3, 3.42 ERA) started for the Mariners and allowed three earned runs on seven hits striking out three and walking five in five innings of work.
The Rays scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth when Jose Molina hit a sacrifice fly to score Kevin Kiermaier. It was Molina’s first RBI after 100 plate appearances dating back to September 23rd of last year.
Rays Bases Loaded Opportunities:
In leaving a season high 15 runners (previous 13 in 14-inning game against the Yankees) the Rays loaded the bases five times in five different innings going 0 for 4 with one run scoring on a wild pitch.
James Loney led off the bottom of the second inning with a double and moved to third on a Desmond Jennings bunt. Matt Joyce popped out to third baseman Kyle Segar for the second out. Yunel Escobar and Kevin Keirmaier drew back-to-back walks to bring up Jose Molina who popped out to shortstop.
With two out in the bottom of the third inning Evan Longoria doubled, James Loney was intentionally walked, and Desmond Jennings drew a walk to load the bases. Matt Joyce hit a hard grounder that Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak stabbed to end the inning.
Opportunity knocked again in the bottom of the sixth inning off left hander Joe Beimel. With one out Ben Zobrist doubled and Evan Longoria was intentionally walked. James Loney hit into a fielders choice for the second out and Desmond Jennings drew a walk. Joe Maddon elected to use Sean Rodriguez as a pinch hitter for Matt Joyce and Rodriguez sent a line drive out ot right fielder Michael Saunders.
The Rays managed to load the bases again in the bottom of the seventh. The Rays loaded the bases on back to back singles by Yunel Escobar and Kevin Kiermaier to begin the inning. Jose Molina moved both runners into scoring position by laying down a two-strike sacrifice bunt to bring up David DeJesus.
The Rays reloaded the bases in the seventh inning for Jameas Loney who grounded out to second to end the inning.