Washburn (9-14, 4.49 ERA) has beaten Tampa Bay more than any other team in his career, going 10-2 with a 2.53 ERA in 14 starts. Since joining the Mariners in 2006, he’s 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two outings against the Devil Rays.
The left-hander won his only start against Tampa Bay this year by allowing two runs - both in the first inning - and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-2 road win on May 22.
Washburn, though, is 0-4 with a 7.29 ERA in his last four starts and has failed to record an out past the sixth inning in all of them. He was tagged for six runs over 5 2-3 innings in a 7-4 loss to Oakland on Tuesday.
The veteran has also lost three straight starts at home by posting a 5.21 ERA.
Washburn’s slide has mirrored the skid for Seattle (78-69), which is falling out of playoff contention because of its play over the last few weeks. The Mariners were one game out of first place in the AL West and three games ahead in the wild card race heading into play on Aug. 25, but have since lost nine straight and 13 of 14.
The Mariners won the first two games of this set with one-run victories in their final at-bats before a 6-2 loss on Saturday. Horacio Ramirez, a major disappointment in his first season with Seattle, pitched to four batters and did not record an out to match the second-shortest start in club history.
He was pulled after 20 pitches, but the Mariners were unable to make up the 4-0 deficit.
“We try and give our guys a chance to work their way out of it. We don’t have that luxury anymore,” Seattle manager John McLaren said. “We’re fighting an uphill battle here.”
Andy Sonnanstine (5-9, 5.96), who starts for the Devil Rays on Sunday, had won three straight starts before pitching poorly his last time out. He lasted just 3 1-3 innings, gave up five runs and eight hits and did not receive a decision in a 16-10 loss on Tuesday at Boston.
Sonnanstine, who was 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in his previous three starts, was pulled Tuesday after struggling to protect an 8-1 lead in the fourth inning.
“Whenever we get eight runs early, it’s my job to protect that lead and get us back in the dugout,” Sonnanstine told the Devil Rays’ official Web site. “And tonight, I didn’t do much of it.”
The rookie right-hander, who has never faced Seattle, is 3-4 with a 5.82 ERA in 10 road starts.