Game 140: Rays Unable to Fend Off Mariners in 6-4 Loss

By David Hill

Over the past couple of weeks, if one of the Rays starters struggled, the Rays were in trouble. The offense had been mostly dormant, and aside from the occasional outburst, it was mainly up to the Rays pitching staff to keep the opposition in check. Fortunately for the Rays, Alex Cobb was on the mound, who had been one of their better pitchers on the season.

Cobb struggled from the start, giving up a ground rule double to Brad Miller to lead off the game. Miller scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Mariners a quick lead. However, Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma also struggled, and the Rays took advantage. Delmon Young hit his first home run with the Rays this season to tie the game, and the Rays put together a rally in the top of the third. With two outs, the Rays loaded the bases to bring up Young. This time, Iwakuma helped the Rays, uncorking a wild pitch allowing Ben Zobrist to score as the Rays took the lead.

Seattle came right back in the bottom of the inning. The Mariners, who had only forty stolen bases all season, stole two bases in the inning, leading to RBI singles for Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager as Seattle reclaimed the lead. Raul Ibanez led off the fourth with a home run, and the Mariners had a 4-2 lead.

The Rays fought back. With two out in the sixth and a runner on second, Iwakuma intentionally walked Wil Myers to get to Jose Molina. Molina made the Mariners pay, grounding a single to right to cut the lead to one, and both runners moved up on a throwing error. Iwakuma was lifted after that, and reliever Yeorvis Medina got Yunel Escobar to line out to end the threat.

Cobb, meanwhile, had settled down, keeping the Rays in the game. He managed to last six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out five. Even though Cobb did not have his best stuff, he battled and managed to keep the Rays in the game.

Tampa rewarded those efforts in the eighth. James Loney walked and Myers singled to put runners on first and second, but pinch runner Sean Rodriguez was picked off second for the first out. That proved costly, as pinch hitter Luke Scott ripped a double to left center to tie the game.

Errors cost the Rays again in the eighth. With one out, Seager lifted a fly ball to deep center that hit off the glove of the dependable Desmond Jennings for a two base error. After Kendry Morales walked, Joel Peralta was able to get a strikeout to get one out away from escaping the jam. However, Justin Smoak hit a ball towards the line in right, just out of the reach of a diving Myers for a two run double to put the Mariners back on top. The Rays were unable to muster another rally, as the Mariners held on to send the Rays to a 6-4 loss. Peralta took the defeat, giving up two runs, on earned, on a hit and a walk, striking out two in his inning of work.

Young was 2-5 with a solo home run and a double. Zobrist and Molina also had two hits in the loss.