Washburn and the Mariners look to continue their success over the Devil Rays when the teams open a three-game series on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field.
Seattle has lost five of its last seven road games, including a 5-2 defeat to the Cleveland Indians on Monday. The contest was a makeup of the teams’ April 6 meeting, which was called after the clubs played 4 2-3 innings in a snowstorm that caused the entire four-game series to be postponed.
Seattle (19-21), which has to make two more trips to Cleveland, wasn’t pleased with adding another stop on a trip that also takes it to Kansas City and Los Angeles for a series with the Angels.
“I think we got the short end of the stick,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. “The way they decided to make it up is not good.”
The Mariners have dropped five of their last six games, scoring only seven runs in those five defeats. They have won eight of their last 11 meetings against the Devil Rays (18-25), however, including a 6-3 mark in 2006.
Washburn (3-4, 3.35 ERA) has also enjoyed plenty of success against the Devil Rays, going 9-2 with a 2.61 ERA in 13 career starts against them—his most wins against any opponent. The left-hander has allowed no earned runs and a .178 opponents’ batting average in winning his last two starts against Tampa Bay.
He’ll need to rebound from a dismal showing Thursday when he gave up season highs of six runs and nine hits over six innings in a 7-3 defeat to the Angels. That performance was a far cry from his previous outing when he threw eight stellar innings and struck out six in a 3-0 win over the New York Yankees on May 11.
Tampa Bay enters after being swept in a three-game set by the Florida Marlins, including a 4-3 defeat in Sunday’s finale. Carlos Pena hit a two-run homer and Greg Norton added an RBI single to give the Devil Rays a 3-0 lead, but the bullpen allowed a three-run eighth inning.
“We played well enough to win today to a certain point and then we gave it up late,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We’ve done that way too often this year.”
Scott Kazmir (2-2, 3.83), who will start Tuesday, didn’t give that bullpen much help in his last outing, lasting just four innings Thursday in an 8-6, 10-inning win over Texas. The left-hander allowed three runs and three hits over four innings while walking a season-high six and striking out nine.
Kazmir was originally scheduled to start Wednesday, but Maddon wanted to keep him on a normal five days’ rest. He is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three career starts versus the Mariners, holding them to a .156 batting average.
Kazmir has never faced Seattle at home. He’ll try to slow Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who is batting .450 (27-for-60) during a 14-game hitting streak.
Pena is 12-for-24 with four homers and eight RBIs during a seven-game hitting streak for Tampa Bay. The first baseman has three homers and seven RBIs in his last five meetings with the Mariners.
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