Tampa Bay at Seattle

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Tampa Bay (63-53)200000000291
Seattle (54-64) «010000002380

M's snap Rays' 7-game win streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Eric Thames had already struck out three straight times when he came to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning to face baseball's most dominant closer.

The Seattle Mariners were all even with the Tampa Bay Rays after Justin Smoak's sacrifice fly off of Fernando Rodney, who came into the game with a 0.82 ERA and the AL lead in saves. Chone Figgins stood on third, and Thames fell into an 0-2 hole.

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Thames took a pitch and then focused on low and away. He was able to flip Rodney's next changeup into short right field to score Figgins, giving the Mariners a 3-2 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night that snapped the Rays' seven-game winning streak.

"Casper [Wells] said to me in the seventh inning, `Hey, in the ninth, you'll be the hero, don't worry about it,"' Thames said. "It's crazy how this game works."

Kyle Seager started the winning rally with a single to right field off Rodney, and pinch-hitter Figgins pushed a bunt that first baseman Carlos Pena fielded. Pena glanced at second, pivoted, double-clutched, and then threw wide of first base.

Seager sprinted to third, and Figgins advanced to second. Smoak's deep fly to center field scored Seager to tie the game, and gave Rodney (2-2) his first blown save since May 26 -- ending the closer's run of 22 consecutive saves.

"[Carlos] makes that play 100 out of 100 times," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "That was the 101st time, I guess, right there."

Thames' hit into short right field scored Figgins and made a winner of Stephen Pryor (2-0), who worked 1 2/3 innings.

Smoak's contribution to the end of Rodney's streak was as surprising as Pena's error. He found out he was coming back to the majors on Monday when was replaced by a pinch-hitter while playing minor league-ball in Memphis. He flew to Seattle on Tuesday morning and doubled on the first pitch he saw.

Smoak also walked, and both outs he made were on deep fly balls. He was hitting just .189 this year coming into the game.

"I knew something was going to happen tonight where it was going to come up to me at some point in the game," Smoak said. "It's good to come through like that."

Tampa Bay's Matt Moore allowed one run and six hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and walked one. The Rays' staff has the best ERA in the majors since the All-Star break.

Kevin Millwood gave up two runs and eight hits in seven innings for Seattle. He struck out a season-high eight.

Four pitches into the game, Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead. Desmond Jennings singled and B.J. Upton followed with a broken-bat fly ball to left that became a triple when Trayvon Robinson dove but failed to make the catch.

Jennings scored, and Upton had his second triple of the season. Evan Longoria's sacrifice fly to right scored Upton.

Miguel Olivo followed with a double that drove in Smoak and pulled the Mariners within 2-1 in the second inning.

Moore and Millwood controlled things from there.

Jeff Keppinger doubled to left, and Pena walked with two out in the Rays' fourth. Millwood then fell behind Ryan Roberts 3-0 before coming back to strike him out and end the threat.

Millwood wriggled out of trouble again in the fifth when Jennings and Upton hit consecutive singles. Millwood struck out Matt Joyce and Longoria to end the inning. He struck out Keppinger and Pena in the sixth, setting a season-high with eight strikeouts. Joyce struck out three times.

The Rays pressured Millwood more in the seventh when Roberts and Jose Molina began the inning with singles. Jennings, already 3-for-3, bounced a high grounder toward third base to Seager, who started a double play. Millwood then retired Upton.

Notes

  • The Mariners placed 1B Mike Carp on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained left groin.
  • The Rays have the lowest team ERA, bullpen ERA and opponents' batting average since the All-Star break.
  • Tampa Bay also leads the majors in strikeouts (284) since the break.
  • The Mariners promoted this year's top draft pick, Mike Zunino, from rookie-level Everett to Double-A Jackson.
  • Seager has a hit in eight consecutive home games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Eric Thames celebrates after helping the Mariners improve to 8-1 in their last nine games at Safeco Field. (Getty Images)
Eric Thames celebrates after helping the Mariners improve to 8-1 in their last nine games at Safeco Field. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Seattle

D. Ackley
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Tampa Bay

D. Jennings
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, LF4130001 .255
B.J. Upton, CF4121002 .245
Matt Joyce, RF3000034 .272
   a- Sean Rodriguez, PH-SS^2B1000000 .209
Evan Longoria, DH3001012 .306
Ben Zobrist, SS-RF4000000 .259
Jeff Keppinger, 3B4020010 .321
    Elliot Johnson, PR-SS0000000 .247
Carlos Pena, 1B3000131 .192
Ryan Roberts, 2B-3B4010023 .242
Jose Molina, C4010001 .201
Totals34292110  
a-flied out for Joyce in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jeff Keppinger 2 (13, Millwood, Pryor)
3B - B.J. Upton (2, Millwood)
SF - Evan Longoria (2)
RBI - B.J. Upton (49), Evan Longoria (24)
SB - Desmond Jennings (22, 2nd base off Millwood/Olivo)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Keppinger-Roberts-Pena
E - Carlos Pena (5, Throwing)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Moore 7611190 3.60
Joel Peralta (H,29) 1000000 3.42
Fernando Rodney (BS,2; L,2-2) 0.2220010 0.81
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Moore 95-70, Joel Peralta 8-4, Fernando Rodney 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Moore 3-8, Joel Peralta 1-2, Fernando Rodney 1-1
Batters Faced - Matt Moore 27, Joel Peralta 3, Fernando Rodney 5
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dustin Ackley, 2B4030000 .225
Trayvon Robinson, LF4000003 .220
Jesus Montero, DH4000003 .266
Kyle Seager, 3B4120000 .252
Casper Wells, CF3000031 .230
   a- Chone Figgins, PH0100000 .186
Justin Smoak, 1B2111100 .191
Miguel Olivo, C4011033 .213
Eric Thames, RF4011033 .237
Brendan Ryan, SS3000010 .198
Totals32383110  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Wells in the 9th
Batting
2B - Justin Smoak (7, Moore), Miguel Olivo (10, Moore)
SF - Justin Smoak (2)
SH - Chone Figgins (7)
RBI - Justin Smoak (39), Miguel Olivo (23), Eric Thames (15)
2-OUT RBI - Miguel Olivo (8), Eric Thames (4)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Seager-Ackley
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kevin Millwood 7822180 4.28
Lucas Luetge 0.1000000 2.56
Stephen Pryor (W,2-0) 1.2100020 0.84
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 102-64, Lucas Luetge 3-2, Stephen Pryor 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 7-5, Stephen Pryor 1-2
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 29, Lucas Luetge 1, Stephen Pryor 6
Game Information
Attendance - 17065
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Sam Holbrook