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Tampa Bay at Seattle

Venue: Safeco Field

Seemingly assured of a playoff appearance a little more than a month ago, the Tampa Bay Rays' postseason fate has become a lot less certain. They might miss out on the playoffs altogether for the second straight year if they don't soon find a way to turn things around.

Giving the ball to Matt Moore against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday at Safeco Field figures to be a good start as Tampa Bay tries to avoid losing control of an AL wild-card berth.

The Rays (77-64) suffered a 6-2 loss at Seattle on Saturday, their 11th defeat in 14 games.

They owned the AL's best record at 64-43 on July 30, giving them a one-half game divisional edge over Boston. Tampa Bay has since gone 13-21 with only Miami (13-22), the Chicago Cubs (12-23) and Houston (12-25) posting worst records.

The AL East race is essentially over with the Red Sox running their lead up to 8 1/2 games, while Saturday's loss trimmed the Rays' wild-card advantage to one game over Cleveland and Baltimore. New York and Kansas City aren't too far off the pace either at 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 games, respectively.

Tampa Bay has totaled 37 runs and is 21 for 127 (.165) with runners in scoring position during the 3-11 stretch and managed just two runs and four hits over six innings off Seattle starter James Paxton in his big league debut Saturday.

Evan Longoria broke a nine-game drought without an RBI by connecting for a two-run homer, but Desmond Jennings, Yunel Escobar, Wil Myers and David DeJesus are a combined 5 for 47 (.106) with runners in scoring position since Aug. 25.

"We're just unable to get the hit when you need to," manager Joe Maddon said. "I know we gave up six runs, but sometimes you've got to score seven, you've got to score eight. We're still unable to really put an offense together."

Tampa Bay is hopeful it won't need many runs with Moore (15-3, 3.27 ERA) on the mound in his second start since spending a month on the disabled list due to elbow soreness.

The left-hander showed little rust in a 7-1 road win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, allowing four hits and an unearned run while striking out six in 5 1-3 innings.

Moore is 7-0 in his last eight outings with a 2.06 ERA.

"It didn't really feel foreign out there. I think all of the thoughts I had were pretty typical for a start," Moore said. "Just being able to travel with the team on the road when I was on the DL and be in the dugout in every home game was big for me because it helped me stay in the game."

Moore went 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three starts versus Seattle last year, recording 23 strikeouts in 20 innings.

Seattle will counter with Erasmo Ramirez (5-1, 5.07), who gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-4 win at Tampa Bay on Aug. 13, but owns a 2.81 ERA over four starts since.

A Mariners win Sunday would mark their first series sweep of the Rays in three games or more since Aug. 7-9, 2006, in Seattle.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Probable Starters

Matt Moore, LHP
2013 stats
126.2 Innings Pitched 55.0
15-3 Wins-Losses 5-1
3.27 Earned Run Average 5.07
60 Walks 17
121 Strikeouts 45
98 Pitches Per Start 101
Career vs. opponent
20.0 Innings Pitched 6.0
1-1 Wins-Losses 1-0
1.80 Earned Run Average 6.00

Erasmo Ramirez, RHP
weather image  Mostly sunny. Warm.
Hi TempLo TempWindHumidityPrecip %
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Tampa Bay5th AL East6894.420253-7 W 2
Seattle2nd AL West8676.53196-4 L 2
vs Erasmo Ramirez
vs Matt Moore

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Series Game Log
Apr 7LAA10:07 PM EDT  
Apr 8LAA10:07 PM EDT  
Apr 9LAA 3:37 PM EDT  
May 2SEA10:10 PM EDT  
May 3SEA10:10 PM EDT  
May 4SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Jun 30LAA10:07 PM EDT  
Jul 1LAA10:07 PM EDT  
Jul 2LAA 3:37 PM EDT  
Aug 10SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Aug 11SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Aug 12SEA 9:10 PM EDT  
Aug 13SEA 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 8SEA10:10 PM EDT  
Sep 9SEA 9:10 PM EDT  
Sep 10SEA 4:10 PM EDT  
Sep 29LAA10:07 PM EDT  
Sep 30LAA 9:07 PM EDT  
Oct 1LAA 3:07 PM EDT