This one shockingly got away from the Mariners in the eighth, as Tampa Bay scores two, with five hits, off Felix. The key play was a grounder to Adam Kennedy that would have been the third out, but Damon beat it out. I’ll cover that in my next post — Wedge thought Kennedy was too slow getting rid of the ball, and Kennedy agreed.
RAYS SEVENTH: Still a one-hitter for Felix after Casey Kotchman reaches on a grounder that Kennedy ranges over to his left to field, and has it go off his glove. Another tough call for the official scorer, but he rules error. Hernandez held them there. 2-1 Mariners.
MARINERS SEVENTH: Second baseman for a day Kyle Seager puts the M’s up with his first career homer — a no-doubter to right off Wade Davis on a 1-1 pitch. 2-1 Mariners.
RAYS SIXTH: Hernandez gets back on track — if he was ever off — with a very quick 1-2-3 innings. 1-1.
RAYS FIFTH: The Rays tied it up, and got the first hit off Hernandez in the process. It could have easily been ruled an error, too — a hard one-out grounder by B.J. Upton that went right past third baseman Adam Kennedy. Upton had been 1-for-22 with eight strikeouts lifetime off Hernandez. He stole second and third — Olivo boxed both pitches and didn’t get a throw off either time — and came home on a bunt down the first-base line by John Jaso. 1-1.
MARINERS FIFTH: An Ichiro leadoff infield single (his 135th hit of the year) is erased by a 1-4-3 double play. 1-0 Mariners.
RAYS FOURTH: Hernandez gave up a leadoff walk to Desmond Jennings, who stole second but didn’t get any further. Felix got the final two outs via strikeout — Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist. Rays are still hitless through four, and Hernandez has six strikeouts. 1-0 Mariners.
RAYS THIRD: Hernandnez has got it tonight, it appears. He strikes two out of three in the third, and has faced the minimum through three. Tampa’s only baserunner, Ben Zobrist, led off with second walk a walk, and was caught stealing. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS THIRD: The Mariners got an unearned run when Trayvon Robinson, who had doubled to lead off the inning and moved to third on an Ichiro groundout, took off for home on Gutierrez’s sharp grounder to shortstop. Robinson would have been out easily with a good throw, but Sean Rodriguez threw wildly. Not only did Robinson score, but Gutierrez ended up on second. Mike Carp walked, but Wells struck out for the second time. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS SECOND: Mike Carp led off the inning with an infield single to second base, extending his hitting streak to 18 games, longest active streak in the majors. Wells and Olivo both struck out looking. Rodriguez walked, but Seager flied out to center. 0-0.
RAYS FIRST:Trayvon Robinson turned in one of the best catches of the season by the Mariners — but not quite his best — with a diving grab to rob Desmond Jennings. I’d still rate the homer-robbing catch of Torii Hunter in Anaheim in Robinson’s major-league debut as Robinson’s — and the M’s — best this year. 0-0.
MARINERS FIRST: Ichiro extended Wade Davis to 10 pitches, but the at-bat ended with a foul out to the catcher. Gutierrez hit a soft liner to third, and Kennedy fanned. 0-0.
Dustin Ackley says his hand is fine — he only sustained a small cut on Tuesday. He’s merely getting a day off.
“We’ve been looking to do it fo awhile,” manager Eric Wedge said. “We have a day off next week, then we have a long stretch of games after that. I wanted to couple it with yesterday and give him two in a row off..”
Seager said he’s excited to play second base, the position he played two of his three years at North Carolina and coming up through the minors, even though he knows it’s just temporary.
“Any position they put me is fine with me,” he said. “I just want to be on the field. Second base is somewhere I definitely feel comfortable, so I’m excited about playing.
Brendan Ryan is coming off the DL, but may not start until Sunday.
“We tested it (before the game),” he said of his shoulder. “We’ve been kind of progressing to this point. I took some swings today, and it was pain free. That kind of made the decision for us.
“I don’t know if we’re going to push it zero to 60, so to speak. I’m available. I don’t know if the plan is to get me in there today, or even tomorrow. But Sunday, Monday, hopefully. We’re working toward that. We’ll see what happens. But we’re in no rush.”
Said Wedge: “He could (start tonight),but like to give him another day or two. With Wilson hurt, I wanted to make sure we had another body available. With (Ryan) being so close, it was silly to make a move for another day or two. He’s available.”
Meanwhile, Casper Wells said he felt much better than he expected after getting hit on the tip of his nose by a 97-mph Brandon Morrow fastball. He likened the feeling to being punched in the nose.
“Fortunately, it wasn’t worse than what it was,” Wedge said. “It was scary, especially as hard as he was throwing.”
Neither Wells nor Wedge thought Morrow hit him intentionally.
“I don’t think there was any intent there,” Wedge said. “He was throwing hard. He probably tried to get a little more and left it up.”
Justin Smoak, on the DL with a fractured nose, took swing swings today and played catch. The Mariners are holding off from having him take grounders, however. He’ll see the doctor again when the Mariners return home.