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Rays Vs. Mariners Preview: Tampa Bay Looking To Stay In The Wild Card Hunt Against Seattle

The Tampa Bay Rays are only a game out of the last wild card spot in the American League. They start a three game series with the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. Can they take the spot in this series?

May 28, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Luke Scott (30) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Chicago White Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
May 28, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Luke Scott (30) at bat against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Chicago White Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Rays are hoping to stay in contention of the wild card bid in the American League. Currently they trail the wild card spot by one game. The Rays have a good opportunity to get some ground back in that race in a three game series with the Seattle Mariners, starting Friday.

The Rays will send pitcher James Shields (8-6, 4.44 ERA) to the hill. Shields is coming off a start against the Boston Red Sox on July 15 where he pitched five innings, allowing six runs on 11 hits in a 7-3 loss.

The Mariners counter with Hisashi Iwakuma (1-2, 5.13). In his last start on July 15 against the Texas Rangers, Iwakuma went five innings, allowing four runs on seven hits in a 4-0 loss.

The game is set for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch. Television coverage will be provided by Sunshine Sports with radio coverage provided by WDAE 620 AM and WGES 680 AM.

Read more on the Rays at DRaysBay and SB Nation Tampa Bay. Head over to Lookout Landing and SB Nation Seattle for more on the Mariners. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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