Rays June Swoon Continues
The Tampa Bay Rays lost their eight straight game falling to the Seattle Mariners 4-3.
Wilmer Font (0-1, 9.59 ERA) takes the loss for the Rays who fall to 28-34 on the season The Rays last held a lead when they were up 1-0 in the middle of the eighth inning in Seattle last Sunday. During their current eight game skid, they’ve failed to hold a lead in seven of those games. Eventually, to win a baseball game you have to hold a lead on your opposition.
Marco Gonzales (7-3, 3.28 ERA) picks up the win for Seattle. He went 7.1-innings and allowed 1-ER on five hits striking out three and walking none. He threw 103 pitches with 72 for strikes. Over his last six starts, he is 4-0 with an 0.81 ERA (3-ER/33.1-IP). The Mariners improve to 39-23 on the season. They has won 7 of their last 8, 11 of their last 14, and 16 of their last 20. They are 31-15 over their past 46 games.
The game got tight in the bottom of the eighth when C.J. Cron homered off Alex Colome to cut the Mariners lead to 4-3 bu Edwin Diaz ended the inning without further damage. Diaz remained in the game to work the ninth picking up his major league leading 22nd save.
The Mariners improve to 20-9 in 1-run games while the Rays fall to 9-15 in the same such contests.
Wilmer Font played the role of the opener. It was his first start of his big league career following 22 appearances in a relief role spanning the last four seasons. He did make 105 starts in his minor league career. He became the 13th starting pitcher used by the Rays this season.
In the first inning he retired the side in order including a pair of strikeouts. His second inning was equally as impressive as his first, once again retiring the side in order and striking out two.
He came out to open the third inning at 30 pitches with Matt Andriese warming in the pen. He entered the inning having thrown 30 pitches but the workload should not have been an issue. Since coming to the Rays, he has been stretched out into the multi-inning role. He threw 40-pitches (1.1-innings) against the Mariners on June 2 and threw 33 pitches (2-innings) against the Washington Nationals on June 5.
He walked Ben Gamel to open the third and then Guillermo Heredia reached on an excuse me swing that hugged the third base line remaining fair. Dan Vogelbach followed with the first hard hit ball of the game, a single to right scoring Gamel and moving Heredia to third. After a mound visit from pitching coach Kyle Snyder, Font struck out Dee Gordon bringing Manager Kevin Cash out with the hook.
Overall, Font worked 2.1-innings allowing two earned runs on two hits while striking out five and walking one. He threw 48 pitches with 33 for strikes and hit 98.9 miles per hour on his fastball.
Andriese Takes Over:
Matt Andriese came in with runners on the corner and 1-out. He got what appeared to be double play ball when the speedy Jean Segura sent a sharp grounder to Christian Arroyo. Arroyo was unable to field it cleanly and while he got the force out at second for the second out, the second Mariners run crossed the plate.
He loaded the bases in the fourth inning with one out. For the second time in as many innings he induced what should have been an inning double play ball, but Daniel Robertson was unable to get a clean transfer to Christian Arroyo and Nelson Cruz crossed the plate.
The fifth inning didn’t start off much better. Jean Segura doubled and scored on Mitch Haniger‘s RBI single to give the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
Andriese’s worked 2.1-innings allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out two and walking one. He threw 48 pitches with 32 for strikes. It was a considerable workload increase for Andriese who last threw 20 pitches on June 1st and 31 on May 28th.
If He Don’t Look Good, Matt Looks Worse:
Vidal Nuno entered the game with runners at 2nd and 3rd. Both runners were the responsibility of Matt Andriese. Nuno saved Andriese pitching line getting Ben Gamel to fly out to left to end the inning. Nuno held the Mariners scoreless over the final 4.1-innings on just 1-hit. He struck out a batter and walked a batter.
Lack Of Clutch Hits:
Trailing 2-0 in the third inning the Rays loaded the bases with 2-out but Matt Duffy struck out to end the threat.
Cron and Cruz Share Plunk Leaderboard:
C.J. Cron was hit by a Marco Gonzales pitch in the bottom of the 3rd to take the major league lead in hit-by-pitch (10). His lead was short lived as Matt Andriese hit Nelson Cruz to open the top of the fourth tying Cruz with Cron for the MLB lead. Entering play Friday night, Francisco Cervelli of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs lead the NL with nine apiece.
Arroyo Launches First Homer As Ray:
In his brief time with the San Francisco Giants last season Christian Arroyo hit three homers (135 plate appearances). He hit his first with the Rays in the bottom of the fifth to cut the Mariners lead to 4-1.
Cron Homer In Eighth:
C.J. Cron, mired in a 1-for-20 skid, homered in the eighth inning off former Ray Alex Colome to cut the Mariners lead to 4-3.
Up Next For The Rays:
Tampa Bay and Seattle play the third game of their four game series Saturday afternoon at 4:10. Blake Snell (7-3, 2.36 ERA) will start for the Rays. The Mariners counter with Felix Hernandez (6-4, 5.33 ERA).