Just got through the fifth inning and it’s still a 2-1 game, the Rays leading. Kevin Millwood has played with fire the past couple of innings, but stranded four baserunners. He enters the sixth with a pitch count of 79 and you’d have to think this will be his final frame if he gets over 100.
Dustin Ackley had an infield single in the fifth and now has three hits tonight. He and Justin Smoak are 4-for-4 with a walk, a double and a run scored.
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7:41 p.m.: Justin Smoak ripped a double down the left field line with two out in the second inning, then scored on a double by Miguel Olivo to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 2-1. Smoak had only six doubles the first four months of the season while up with the Mariners, so that was a good sign.
He did hit the double while batting right-handed. Most of the work shortening his swing was done from the left side.
7:18 p.m.: Kevin Millwood is off to another tough start tonight and trails 2-0 after a half inning of play. Millwood gave up a single to Desmond Jennings and then a triple to B.J. Upton down the left field line on the first four pitches he threw. Trayvon Robinson dove for the triple and had the ball get by him and roll to the left field wall.
Then, with Upton on third, Evan Longoria hit a flyball to medium right field. Upton is so fast, he probably scores 90 percent of the time on that in any event, but the throw by Eric Thames was short and well off-line. The Rays just gave starter Matt Moore more run support that half-inning than they did the entire game these teams played the last time Moore took a loss. Tampa Bay’s offense has really stepped it up since Longoria’s return.
7:01 p.m.: Justin Smoak is out there, batting sixth tonight as the Mariners take on Matt Moore and the Rays, who have won seven in a row. Moore leads all rookies with eight wins, having gone 8-2 with a 2.93 ERA since June 1. That said, he’s gone seven innings only once since July 7, so that’s worth keeping an eye on if the M’s can get his pitch count up.
The M’s beat him 2-1 in Tampa a few weeks back.
Kevin Millwood takes the mound for the Mariners, having been rocked early and often in Baltimore last week.