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Tampa Bay Rays Vs. Seattle Mariners: Game Two Preview

In the second game of the Rays west coast trip, Andy Sonnanstine, looking for his first win in his final start, pairs off against Justin Vargas.

After yesterday's shellacking, the Tampa Bay Rays (29-27) hope to stave of the road trip blues and salvage a series win today, sending Andy Sonnanstine to face lefty Jason Vargas and the Seattle Mariners (29-27). Sonnanstine (0-1, 4.39 ERA, 6.55 FIP) gets one more start before returning to his long man duties in the bullpen, allowing the Rays to time their best starters for the Red Sox in two week. Sonny has been unspectacular if not terrifying this year, sporting all the signs of good luck and bad performance. By giving Sonnanstine one more start, the Rays are essentially making a throw of the dice, hoping either Sonny can turn around his early poor performances or catch one more break before going to pitching purgatory.

Jason Vargas (3-3, 4.50 ERA, 4.04 ERA), on the other hand, gives the Rays a fighting chance today. As average as Sonny is lucky, Vargas can dominate at times -- such as his complete game shutout against the Orioles earlier this year -- and flounder at other times -- 4 times this year, he has failed to reach the 6th inning while allowing at least 5 runs. The Rays' best chance this series to hit and hurt a pitcher early is tonight.

The Rays hitters, meanwhile, look to get things going again. Despite Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Rangers, the Rays have since scored a combined 2 runs over the next 2 games. If the Rays want to win today, they may need to make up for lost ground and put another 5 runs on the board -- and early.

Game Time: 10:10 P.M. ET at Safeco Field
Radio: WDAE 620
Television: Sun Sports HD

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.