The Tampa Bay Rays sank the Mariners 8-1 and Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.15 ERA) gave 'em hell - no hitting Seattle through 5.0 innings before Chone (/'ʃɒn/) Figgins ripped a single to open the sixth.
For the most part, the Rays put together a constant stream of hits and runs that kept Seattle exhausted. Both teams got plenty of men on base, but it seemed like only the Rays could bring them home. 11 hits, 4 walks, and 3 errors produced 17 base runners to shine a light at the end of this dark tunnel / road trip.
The game started with Desmond Jennings taking first on an error, stealing second, then taking third as Miguel Olivo threw the ball into center attempting to pick Dezzy. The rookie would score on a ground ball to Figgins by Evan Longoria, sliding easliy under Olivo's tag. In other words, he's fast.
Sean Rodriguez continued his renaissance as a short stop and Ben Zobrist continued his monster year. Both men had three hits and three runs batted in. S-Rod, Sam Fuld and Jennings each had a stolen base. Jake McGee and Mike Ekstrom then closed the door with two innings of scoreless pitching. A very positive sign of good things to come!
The Rays finish the road trip 4-6, disappointing given they are now third in the wild card race. The Rays management have confidence in this team, it's time for the players to live up to that confidence. The Rays return home with David Price on the mound vs. the fourth place (wild card and AL East) Blue Jays.
- A few bloopers in the seventh and ninth evaded the quick feet of Sam Fuld this evening. Not all of it his fault, but the failed dive in the ninth was a little deflating. Don't get me wrong, I love watching him play - and granted the best play of his career happened in right - but he might have felt a little out of place. With Jennings in left, Upton in center, Zobrist at 2nd and S-Rod at short, a Fuld/Joyce right field combo is fine with me anyday. The Legend will adjust, no worries.
- The untraded B.J. Upton went 0-4 this evening, but did walk once.