It took the Rays longer than they would have liked, but the Tampa Bay Rays (49-45) picked up a 4-3 win against the Seattle Mariners (40-55). The Mariners have the third worst record in the American League, and are currently in last place in the AL West.
Ben Zobrist picked up the walk-off hit, doubling home Carlos Pena with one out in the 14th inning. Jake McGee (3-2) picked up the win after getting Burke Badenhop out of a jam in the top of the inning, while Tom Wilhelmsen (3-2) was charged with the loss for the Mariners.
The Mariners got on the board first, with Ichiro Suzuki hitting a one-out triple off of Rays starter James Shields and scoring on a double by Casper Wells. After Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma got out of a two-on one-out jam in the bottom of the first, both starters looked locked in for the next four innings.
The game stayed 1-0 Mariners until the bottom of the sixth inning, when B.J. Upton led off the inning with a home run, his ninth of the season, to tie the game. But the Rays were not satisfied with just tying the game, as Zobrist hit a double with one out and would score on a single by Jeff Keppinger, the only player hitting over .300 in either team’s starting lineup.
But the Mariners came right back in the top of the seventh inning, retaking the lead on a two-run homer by Carlos Peguero, his first of the season and seventh of his career (third one of those seven hit off of Shields).
The Rays tied the game in the bottom of the inning off of the Mariners bullpen, with Upton singling home Desmond Jennings. This would be the last run scored for seven innings.
The Rays bullpen dominated the Mariners, as Joel Peralta came in to replace Shields with two outs and a runner on first in the eighth inning and got Jesus Montero to pop out. Fernando Rodney, Kyle Farnsworth and J.P. Howell then combined to pitch five innings, allowing no hits or walks while striking out five.
Meanwhile, the Rays had plenty of opportunities to score, but wasted each one. Zobrist walked to lead off the eighth inning, but Brooks Conrad then hit into a double play. In the 10th inning, the Rays loaded the bases with two outs, but Hideki Matsui then flew out to end the threat. In the 11th, Jennings was on second with no outs after drawing a walk and picking up his 17th steal of the season, but never even advanced as far as third base. Then Matsui was in another great opportunity to provide a walk-off in the 12th inning, but he struck out with two men on and two outs.
The Mariners finally managed a rally of their own in the top of the 14th inning, with John Jaso singling and Montero walking with one out off of Badenhop. But then Joe Maddon brought in McGee, who retired the next two batter to keep the tie in order.
Pena singled with one out in the bottom of the 14th and then barely crossed the plate ahead of Montero’s tag on Zobrist’s walk-off double, finally ending the game four hours and 46 minutes after the first pitch was thrown.
About the Author
Written by Will Creager
I'm currently a senior at Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, FL, studying math and sports journalism. Sports are my passion, especially baseball.