Tampa Bay is competing for a shot at the 2019 MLB Playoffs, while Seattle is the worst team in the AL West. However, it was the M’s who made the Rays work for their runs early.
Tampa needed a pair of RBI ground outs to score their first two runs. The Mariners were able to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth.
In the seventh inning, M’s starter Marco Gonzales was pulled after taking a comebacker off his left leg. Gonzales was notably upset about leaving the mound.
Still tied at 2 going to the ninth, and Seattle decided to go with Anthony Bass on the bump. Bass struggled with the strike zone, but he also didn’t get much help from the home plate umpire.
Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims said a few times in the ninth that some pitches “could have gone either way.” Unfortunately, they did not go the M’s way.
Bass faced eight batters in the final inning. A single and walk started the Rays’ half. A sacrifice bunt gifted Seattle an out, but put both runners in scoring position.
The Mariners intentionally walked Willy Adames to load the bases and give themselves a force out at every base. It didn’t matter.
Bass walked the go-ahead run in, 3-2 Rays. Then, a J.P. Crawford error gave Tampa Bay a small cushion. The next batter, Austin Meadows, hit a ball to Crawford, who tried to turn a double play, but Meadows beat the throw from second to first base. 5-2 Rays.
The Rays shut the M’s down in the home ninth, but not before one major Seattle highlight. 31-year-old rookie Ryan Court hit his first career MLB home run. Sadly, for the team, it was just a solo shot.
Tampa Bay lost nine straight in Seattle before Friday night’s win. The last Rays win in T-Mobile Park (or as it was known then, Safeco Field) was a 3-1 finish on June 7, 2015.
Winning Pitcher, (1-1) Oliver Drake: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB
Losing Pitcher, (1-4) Anthony Bass: 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 0 K, 3 BB
Save (10), (former Mariner) Emilio Pagan: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 K, 0 BB
The M’s battle Tampa again Saturday in game two of the three-game series. Pregame coverage starts at 5 p.m. on Freedom 970.
Here are the highlights from the game:
Top 2nd … Michael Brosseau RBI Ground Out, 1-0 Rays
Bottom 3rd … Domingo Santana RBI Single, 2-1 Rays
Bottom 4th … Ryan Court RBI Single, 2-2
Top 9th … Anthony Bass Walks Ji-Man Choi with Bases Loaded, 3-2 Rays
Top 9th … J.P. Crawford Error Scores Kevin Kiermaier, 4-2 Rays
Top 9th … Austin Meadows RBI Fielder’s Choice, 5-2 Rays
Bottom 9th … Court (1st Career) Home Run, 5-3 Rays
Final Call, Rays win 5-3.