Tampa Bay comes back to clip Mariners
The tables turned twice in the ninth inning, and for the Seattle Mariners the thrill of potential victory turned into the agony of defeat.
The Tampa Bay Rays avoided a three-game sweep at home by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth — the winning run on a wild pitch — as they beat the Mariners 7-6 in walk-off fashion Wednesday night before an announced crowd of 7,827 at Tropicana Field.
Seattle had scored three times in the top of the ninth to go up 6-5. Daniel Vogelbach led off with his 28th home run of the season, and with one out Dee Gordon singled and scoed on Mallex Smith's triple.
But the Mariners, who were looking to stretch their win streak to five, gave up a tying home run to Kevin Kiermaier, who drilled a 3-2 pitch over the 404-foot sign in center field. Tampa Bay then got runners on second and third with a single by Willy Adames and double by Michael Brosseau. An intentional walk to Ji-Man Choi loaded the bases with no one out.
Reliever Matt Magill, who dropped to 3-1 and failed to register an our, then threw a curve in the dirt, and the ball got away from catcher Omar Narvaez, allowing Adames to score easily.
Kiermaier finished 2 for 4 with four RBIs. He has 13 home runs this year.
Seattle also had three runs in the fourth, a spree that gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead. Kyle Seager drove in a run with a force out, and Tim Lopes had a two-run single.
Seattle fell to 54-74, while Tampa Bay improved to 74-54.
The M's will have a day off to travel back to Seattle and think about their near-win. Their next game is 7 p.m. Friday, the opener of a three-game set at home against Toronto.
Game one starters are left-handerJustus Sheffield (0-0, 6.00), a Seattle prospect who has toiled mostly in Double-A and Triple-A ball this season, and Toronto's Trent Thornton (4-8, 5.30).
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