Seattle (18-28) at Tampa Bay (18-30)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 67° F
  • Game info: 7:15 pm EDT Fri May 27, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays hope to keep Ichiro Suzuki off the bases as they look for their fourth straight victory in the opener of a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners.

Suzuki led the majors with a .372 batting average last season, but hit .281 against the Devil Rays. It was his lowest average against any AL opponent.

“We don’t have a secret for him,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “I wish we had a secret.”

Suzuki hit .387 in April, but is only batting .287 this month to lower his average to a team-high .324. The All-Star right fielder also leads Seattle with five triples, 33 runs and 15 stolen bases in 19 attempts.

Seattle starter Ryan Franklin gave up three runs and eight hits over seven innings in Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. Suzuki went 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.

The Mariners, 0-3 on their six-game road trip, will try to turn their luck around against the streaking Devil Rays.

Hideo Nomo took a shutout into the eighth inning Thursday, and Tampa Bay held on for a 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics for their third straight win.

“I’m just glad our team was able to win the last three games,” Nomo said through an interpreter after the Devil Rays finished a sweep of the struggling A’s.

Outfielder Carl Crawford went 2-for-3 to give him four hits and four RBIs in the last two games. Crawford leads the Devil Rays with 28 runs and 13 stolen bases. He’s tied for the team lead with five home runs and 26 RBIs.

Crawford led the AL with 59 stolen bases in 2004. Suzuki was third with 36.

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Starting Pitchers

G. Meche KC vs. M. Hendrickson Bal
10-8 Record 11-8
5.09 ERA 5.90
83 K 89
72 BB 49
1.57 WHIP 1.55