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May 3, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Rays, May 3: Mariners lose, 4-3

M’s get the leadoff man, Mike Carp, aboard on an error, but Smoak flies out and Saunders hits into double play. Mariners got swept four games by Tampa Bay and ended road trip on six-game losing streak. Tough times.
RAYS EIGHTH: Luetge puts the Rays down in order and still hasn’t allowed a run over 11 appearances. M’s head to ninth trailing 4-3.
MARINERS SIXTH: Story of the trip: Jaso leads off with a double, and Carp, Smoak and Saunders follow with strikouts. 4-3 Rays.
RAYS FIFTH: Another 1-2-3 inning for Millwood, who has retired seven in a row. 4-3 Rays.
MARINERS FIFTH: Back to back doubles with two outs by Ackley and Ichiro cut Tampa lead to 4-3.
MARINERS FOURTH: Saunders strikes out with runners on first and second to end Mariner fourth. Carp reached on his first hit of the year — a two-out bloop single to left that Brandon Allen probably should have caught — and Smoak walked to reach base for the second time. 4-2 Rays.
RAYS THIRD: Rays strand two runners, still lead 4-2.
MARINERS THIRD: Kawasaki leads off with an infield single but the Mariners don’t get anything out of it. Ackley got to second with two outs after hitting into a force and stealing second, but Ichiro grounded out. 4-2 Rays
RAYS SECOND: Well, that lead didn’t last long. Millwood got two quick outs and then it all fell apart — five straight hits, including a two-run homer by Jeff Keppinger and a two-run triple by Desmond Jennings. It all started when Seager made diving stop on Rhymes but threw wide to first. 4-2 Rays.
MARINERS SECOND: M’s jump ahead 2-0 as Kyle Seager walks, John Jaso doubles (on a ball misjudged in center by Desmond Jennings, Mike Carp grounded out to bring in Seager, and Justin Smoak singled in Jaso. Michael Saunders then grounded into a double play. 2-0 Mariners.
RAYS FIRST: Matt Joyce gave a scare with a long drive, but it hooked foul. Otherwise, an easy 1-2-3 first for Millwood. 0-0.
MARINERS FIRST: Chone Figgins is now 7-for-15 off Niemann after flying out to center. Ackley struck out — M’s have had 10 or more K’s for three straight games,and four of five — and Ichiro hit a shot to right that was caught. 0-0.
I didn’t want any part of the catwalk, but I enjoyed a trip out to the fish tank behind center field, which is stocked with stingrays (don’t worry, they’ve been de-fanged, so to speak. You’re even allowed to pet them).
The Mariners will try to salvage a .500 record on a road trip that began with four straight wins followed by five straight losses. Rays right-handed starter Jeff Niemann will face nothing but left-handed hitters — seven lefty swingers and two pinch-hitters.
Brendan Ryan, hitting .125, is out of the lineup, but Eric Wedge stressed the need to get him going, saying he doesn’t see Kyle Seager as an option at shortstop.
“He’s taken away more runs at shortstop than anyone in the game,” he said. “That’s real. You can’t get away from that. With what we saw this spring from him, what we saw at times in the past year, that’s real, too, offensively. If you get a guy that can defend himself at home plate, and just be even borderline average, you have a championship-level shortstop, without a doubt.”

Comments | Topics: Brendan Ryan, Chone Figgins


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