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Felix Hernandez Dominant, But Rays Win 3-2

The Tampa Bay Rays (67-56) somehow eked out a win against the Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners (53-70). Hernandez (L, 11-11) pitched a complete game loss, allowing 6 hits and 3 walks while striking out 9. However, the six hits were weak and defensive miscues -- namely from Adam Kennedy, playing third base on the night -- let the Rays steal a win in the bottom of the eighth.

Wade Davis pitched a gem in his own right, allowing only one earned run and one unearned. Davis completed 7 innings, striking out 8 and walking only 2, but the Mariners cracked the scoreboard early when Trayvon Robinson doubled in the 3rd inning and then came home on a Sean Rodriguez error, giving Seattle a 1-0 lead.

The Rays tied the game with their signature suicide squeeze in the bottom of the fifth, when John Jaso successfully bunted B.J. Upton home. Of course, B.J. would not have been on base had a weak play from Adam Kennedy not let Upton's grounder slip through for a "hit." Then, with the score tied 1-1, Kyle Seager led off the 7th by launching a homer into right.

The bottom of the 8th began with the Mariners leading 2-1 and Felix Hernandez in utter command of the game. Sam Fuld, pinch hitting for Sean Rodriguez, slapped a single to left with one out. Then Johnny Damon grounded to third, but Kennedy double-clutched and the hustling Damon beat the throw by a step and a half.

Then, with runners on first and second, Evan Longoria smashed a ground ball through the left side and the speedy Fuld scored, tying the game 2-2. Ben Zobrist followed up with a bloopish single to center field, scoring Damon for the final 3-2 lead.

Kyle Farnsworth came in for the ninth inning, but Rays fans know this part of the story already: Yet another 1-2-3 ninth inning, featuring 2 strikeouts and Farnsworth's 22nd save.

  • It appears Sam Fuld lost a tooth yesterday. Not sure when or why, but it became obvious after the camera zoomed in on him at first base.
  • Wade Davis started an incredible double play in the top of the 5th inning. With the speedy Ichiro Suzuki on first, Franklin Gutierrez grounded it back to Davis. Suzuki was breaking for second on a steal attempt, but Wade spun and zinged the ball to Ben Zobrist at second, who relayed the ball to Casey Kotchman for an impressive double play.
  • J.P. Howell and Juan Cruz (W, 5-0) combined for a scoreless 8th inning. It was the first time a non-Farnsworth Rays reliever made an appearance since August 13th.

Final - 8.19.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Seattle Mariners 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 8 1
Tampa Bay Rays 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 X 3 6 1
WP: Juan Cruz (5 - 0)
SV: Kyle Farnsworth (22)
LP: Felix Hernandez (11 - 11)

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