Rays Drop 6th In A Row, Fall To Mariners 5-4

The Tampa Bay Rays (66-51) were defeated by the Seattle Mariners (55-63) in the opening game of their 3-game series. The loss extends the Rays losing streak to 6 games.

Chris Archer (6-5, 3.10 ERA) worked 5+ innings and was removed after allowing a leadoff single to Justin Smoak in the top of the 6th. His final line was 5 innings, 5R/ER on 8 hits striking out 5 and walking 1.

Archer allowed a solo homer to Brad Miller to lead off the game and then seemed to be in a nice rhythm until he had recorded the first two outs in the 4th inning.   The Rays offense had given him the lead thanks to a lead off homer by Ben Zobrist and a James Loney RBI single  in the bottom of the first.

With 2-outs Raul Ibanez singled and Mike Morse hit a ground rule double to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. The Rays put the shift on for Justin Smoak who sent a slow roller toward 2nd baseman Ben Zobrist but Yunel Escobar cut in front and the ball hit off his glove and scooted by Zobrist for a 2-RBI single and the Mariners held the 3-2 lead.

The Mariners extended their lead to 4-2 in the top of the 5th on Brad Miller‘s second solo homer of the game.

The Rays came back and tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Kelly Johnson led off the inning with a long single and Ben Zobrist followed with his 2nd homer of the game to even the score at 4-4.

After Justin Smoak singled to lead off the 6th inning Joe Maddon went to his bullpen and called upon newly acquired Wesley Wright to enter the game.  Dustin Ackley sent a long fly ball to straight away center that Wil Myers was unable to haul in and Smoak raced all the way around to score the go-ahead run. Wright retired the following three hitters including to strikeouts to keep Ackely from scoring.

The Rays offense was unable to break through on the Mariners bullpen despite numerous opportunities. They had 2-on and 1-out in the bottom of the 6th inning but Jose Lobaton and Kelly Johnson both struck out.  Again in the bottom of the 7th they had 2-on and 1-out but Wil Myers struck out and James Loney grounded out. In the bottom of the 8th inning Jason Bourgeois was at 2nd base with 2-out but Kelly Johnson grounded out.

After allowing the inherited runner to score the Rays bullpen worked the final 4 innings of scoreless baseball. Wesley Wright worked the 6th inning, Joel Peralta allowed a hit and a walk in the 7th inning, Jake McGee gave up a hit in the 8th inning, and Fernando Rodney worked a perfect 9th striking out two.

The Rays had the top of their lineup up against Danny Farquhar who has taken over for Tom Wilhelmsen as the Mariners closer. Farguhar struck out both Ben Zobrist and Matt Joyce before getting Evan Longoria to fly out to center field. Farquhar picks up his 5th save on the season  preserving the victory for Erasmo Ramirez (4-0, 7.06 ERA)

Tomorrow at 7:10 p.m. the Rays will send David Price (6-5, 3.17 ERA) to the mound and the Mariners  will counter with Aaron Harang (5-10, 5.79 ERA).

I am a fan of all sports but am most passionate about baseball. From the fanatical to analytical, nothing about the game escapes me. Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio I'm very familiar with the heartache and pain that sports can bring and hope that I bring some understanding of the other side to my coverage. I will focus mostly on baseball but also cover the Tampa Bay Lightning, one of the most electric franchises in all of sports. Always willing to converse about any sport and have only one rule and that is be respectful at all times.