Tampa Bay Rays Hand Seattle Mariners Sixth Straight Loss

You'd think that when you nearly double up a team in hits, you'd be able to score more than one run, right? Well, Thursday night in Seattle that wasn't the case for the Mariners. The Tampa Bay Rays opened up a four game series in Seattle vs. the Mariners with a victory where runs were at a premium with the Rays edging the Mariners, 2-1.

Former Mariner Erasmo Ramirez got the start for Tampa Bay tonight, and in 5.1 innings, he limited the Mariners to just one run on seven hits while striking out five and walking one. He only threw 72 pitches, but he was on his game with 50 strikes thrown and used his slider to keep the righties off balance all night and it worked for him very well. 

Roenis Elias toed the slab for Seattle and had one of his best outings of the year. It was his longest of 2015, as he lasted eight innings giving up just two runs on five hits while striking out six and walking one. Elias was using his full arsenal of pitches and they were working for him especially with his nasty curveball. It can be very tough when you turn in an outing like this and can't get the run support needed for a win, but that's just how it seems to work in Seattle.

Tampa's runs came in the fourth inning by Seattle-area native Steven Souza Jr. who hit an RBI single to center which was followed by a Jake Elmore RBI 6-4 fielders choice to plate Logan Forsythe and make it 2-0. Joey Butler checked in with a 2-for-3 night with a run scored as well.

It was only in the fifth inning when Robinson Cano lined an RBI single to right center that the Mariners could get anything going. That single cut the lead to 2-1.

It was an encouraging night for the Mariners as they got on base, but just couldn't finish the deal and score many runs. Austin Jackson, Robinson Cano, and Mark Trumbo, in his Mariners debut, all tallied two hits. Kyle Seager also checked in with a double and was 1-for-4.

Kevin Jepsen came into the game to shut it down in the ninth and ended up sealing the deal. The Mariners did make it interesting however as Mike Zunino led off the ninth with a walk and then pinch runner Willie Bloomquist was bunted up to second by Dustin Ackley. Jepsen then came back to strike out Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano leaving Ackley on base and in scoring postion again to end the game.

The Mariners offense just couldn't get it going all night. They were an abysmal 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left ten runners on base. They had 10 hits to Tampa's six, but couldn't get the timely base hits to get some more runs. Seattle's pitching has been there lately, but the offense has let them down big time and stats like these are not new. Credit Tampa Bay however for getting timely hitting and getting out of some jams on the hill with runners in scoring position.

Seattle has lost six straight and they will try to turn it around Friday in game two of the four game series as they send lefty J.A. Happ to the hill to face hot youngster Jake Odorizzi for the Rays.

WP: Erasmo Ramirez (4-2, 5.10 ERA)

LP: Roenis Elias (2-3, 2.94 ERA)

SV: Kevin Jepsen (2, 1.96 ERA)

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