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.