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The Tampa Bay Rays have extended their hold on first place in the AL West while piling on the misery for the Seattle Mariners. The Rays are now 18-9 after they completed a four-game sweep of Seattle on Thursday, winning 4-3 at Tropicana Field.
Seattle got off to a great start in the top of the 2nd inning with two runs, but things fell apart for them in the bottom of the second. Kevin Millwood had a bit of bad luck in giving up an infield single to Will Rhymes, but followed up that at-bat by giving up a two-run home run to Jeff Keppinger, which tied the game at 2-2. The next two batters, Chris Gimenez and Sean Rodriguez, both singled before Desmond Jennings drove them both in with a triple to make it 4-2.
The Mariners got one run back in the 5th inning off back-to-back doubles. Dustin Ackley reached with a double and was driven in by Ichiro Suzuki, but that would be the last run of the day. Jake McGee was excellent in relief of Jeff Niemann, striking out three batters and allowing no hits in his 2.1 innings. Fernando Rodney came in for the 9th inning and closed things out, clinching his ninth save of the season in the Rays' victory.
The Tampa Bay Rays currently hold a one game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in AL East standings. They have an opportunity to earn a four-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners as they play Thursday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
Jeff Niemann takes the hill for the Rays on Thursday looking to improve his 1-3 record with a 3.86 ERA on the year. In his last appearance Niemann went five and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on five hits against the Texas Rangers on April 28.
The Mariners send Kevin Millwood to the hill, looking for his first win of the season currently with a record of 0-2 and a 5.24 ERA. In Millwood's last start against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 28, Millwood pitched seven innings, but gave up three runs, only one earned, in a loss.
The Rays may be without B.J. Upton, who left Wednesday's game after experiencing tightness in his right quadriceps.
The game is scheduled for a 1:10 first pitch, with television coverage on Sunshine Sports. Radio coverage will be provided by WDAE 620 AM.
The Tampa Bay Rays went down to the Seattle Mariners early when James Shields gave up a first inning three-run home run, but the Rays were able to battle back for a 5-4 win. A Sean Rodriguez two-run home run in the third inning cut the Mariners lead to just one run, but in the fourth inning a Jose Molina double plated two runs to give the Rays the 4-3 lead.
Kyler Seager, who blasted the home run in the first inning, went yard again in the sixth inning to tie the game at 4-4. Unfortunately for the Mariners however, designated hitter Luke Scott hit a home run of his own to give the Rays back the lead at 5-4, which wound up being enough for the Rays to hold on for the win as Joel Peralta picks up the save.
The Tampa Bay Rays are looking to pick up their third win in a row over the Seattle Mariners and Game 3 of a four-game series, but starting Rays pitcher James Shields struggled to get through the first inning. The Mariners jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning as third baseman Kyle Seager hit a three-run shot to give the Mariners a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Shields was able to recover and get through the second inning, giving up only two hits so far in the game, but one of those hits led to three runs. Through two however, Shields has struck out five batters and seems to have finally settled in against a Mariners lineup that has struggled to hit the baseball all season.
James Shields takes the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night as they play the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Rays are riding high after a 3-1 victory against Seattle on Tuesday night to run their winning streak to three games.
Shields has the opportunity to be the first five-game winner in the big leagues this season as he stands at a 4-0 record with a 3.31 ERA. His last start was on April 27 against the Texas Rangers. In that game he went six innings and while he allowed four runs on 11 hits, he struck out eight Ranger batters. More encouraging for Wednesday's game is that Shields is 7-0 with a 2.56 ERA in his last nine starts at Tropicana Field.
Mariners starting pitcher Blake Beaven has allowed at least three runs and one home run in his last three starts. He enters the game 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA. In his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 27, Beaven allowed three runs on seven hits in five and two-thirds innings, not earning a decision.
The game is scheduled for a 7:10 first pitch. Television coverage will be provided by Sunshine Sports with radio coverage on WDAE 620 AM.
Elliot Johnson will probably surprise some critics if the Rays choose to use him in Evan Longoria's place.
The Rays kept on rolling Tuesday night, keeping the lowly Mariners lineup in check again in a 3-1 win at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay has now won nine of their last ten games, including seven of eight against the AL West. Their pitching has been nearly unbeatable at home this season, with Joe Maddon's club boasting a 10-1 record at the Trop.
After Jeremy Hellickson battled Felix Hernandez in Game 1, Matt Moore went to work on Monday against the Mariners. Moore scattered seven hits across five innings, holding Seattle to just one run -- a Michael Saunders solo shot. He was largely able to avoid damage via the strikeout, fanning seven Mariners for the win. The bullpen then picked him up, pitching four scoreless which included an impressive hold from Burke Badenhop.
On offense, the Rays struck early, getting two in the first, which was all they would need against a scuffling Seattle lineup. Matt Joyce had a big night, tripling home Ben Zobrist for the Rays' first run and then bookending it with a solo homer in the third that would close the scoring for the night. The Rays managed only three hits, but Joyce made sure two of those counted and when things are going as they are for the Rays right now, it all comes together at the right time.
Tampa will look to continue their streak against the AL West on Wednesday night, as James Shields has a shot to improve to 5-0 in what would be a series-clinching win. Eric Wedge will counter with Blake Beavan.
The Tampa Bay Rays won the first game of their series against the Seattle Mariners on Monday night, and they'll be back at it again on Tuesday from the Trop. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm and you can find the game on Sun Sports.
The Rays will send Matt Moore to the mound and he will be opposed by Hector Noesi. Rays fans are still waiting for Moore to live up to the potential that he showed at the end of last year. He has been pitching well, it might not have been fair to expect him to come out of the gates as one of the best pitchers in the American league. Moore has a perfectly respectable ERA at 4.68, but his 0-1 record leaves something to be desired. The Mariners don't have a great offense, so this could be a good chance for Moore to get his first win of the year.
The Tampa Bay Rays continued their success against the AL West on Monday night, taking Game 1 of their series against the Seattle Mariners with a 3-2 win in the bottom of the 12th inning. The Rays have won five of their last six games against the West, sweeping the Angels and taking two of three from the red hot Rangers. Tampa has now won eight of their past nine games and lead the AL East by a game over the Orioles.
Jeremy Hellickson was brilliant again for Joe Maddon, allowing just six hits and one earned run over seven innings. While the Mariners may have one of the worst offenses in the league, Hellickson still slammed the door and fanned seven to keep Tampa in it against Felix Hernandez, who was dealing himself.
Hernandez struck out nine in eight innings pitched, allowing only one run on a Sean Rodriguez single which brought home Brandon Allen in the second inning. From there, both teams would fail to put another run on the board until the 11th inning. Seattle went ahead after prospect Jesus Montero hammered his fourth homer of the season, taking a Wade Davis, who made a relief appearance, deep to right with a 400-foot bomb.
On the ropes, Tampa would respond in the bottom of that inning to tie it back up and move it to the 12th inning. Down to their final out, a B.J. Upton single brought home Jeff Keppinger to tie it up, as Seattle closer Brandon League's scuffles continued. Then, one inning later, League would give up the winning run after Ben Zobrist drew a leadoff walk, was moved to second on a Carlos Pena single, and was brought home after Eliot Johnson took a pitch up the middle.
The Tampa Bay Rays begin a four-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Monday. Can Jeremy Hellickson get his fourth win of the season?