Seattle (79-72) at Tampa Bay (77-74)

Fair Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:08 pm EDT Wed Sep 23, 2009
  • TV: FSNW, FSFL
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay RaysWade Davis(notes) earned his first career win in grand style with a four-hitter and 10 strikeouts.

He’ll try to follow up that impressive outing Wednesday night when the Rays wrap up a brief series with the Seattle Mariners.

Davis (1-1, 4.34 ERA) had a strong major league debut Sept. 6 versus Detroit by allowing one run and three hits over seven innings, but failed to get a decision in the 5-3 loss. He was tagged for eight runs over 2 2-3 innings in at Boston six nights later en route to a 9-1 defeat.

The 24-year-old right-hander put that behind him in Thursday’s 3-0 win at Baltimore

“I was just trying to get to the sixth, just battle it out,” he said. “When I had the real quick inning in the seventh and eighth, I figured I could go out there and do it again.”

That performance launched the Rays (77-74) on a win streak that ended at four with Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Mariners (79-72). Tampa Bay rallied from a two-run deficit to tie it in the sixth inning, but Jose Lopez(notes) hit his career-best 25th homer in the eighth to help officially eliminate the defending AL champions from playoff contention.

Lopez has driven in a run in seven of the last eight contests to push his team-leading total to 91. Ichiro Suzuki(notes) added his second homer in four games for Seattle and is four shy of matching his career high 15 from 2005.

The Mariners are all but eliminated from the postseason but aren’t going quietly. Their victory in the opener of this two-game set was their seventh in 10 games.

Now, the Mariners will try to help Brandon Morrow(notes) (1-4, 5.08) earn his second straight victory. After winning at Texas on Sept. 12, the right-hander walked a season- and career-high six over 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3, 14-inning win over Chicago on Thursday. He also allowed three runs and six hits.

The right-hander has struggled with control, totaling 21 walks in 26 1-3 innings over his previous five starts, and could be auditioning for a spot on next season’s staff. He’s never started against Tampa Bay but has pitched 4 2-3 innings with two saves versus the Rays.

“We try to find some improvement in every outing,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “If he can keep getting better, that would put him in position for next year. He’s definitely a candidate, but he has to go out and prove out.”

Seattle is 5-2 against the Rays this year, and 8-4 at Tropicana Field since May 28, 2005.

Rays outfielder Carl Crawford(notes) needs one more stolen base to break his club record set in 2004. He’s also looking to become the fifth player in the last decade with 60 steals and 60 RBIs.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Morrow SD vs. W. Davis KC
2-4 Record 2-2
4.39 ERA 3.72
63 K 36
44 BB 13
1.58 WHIP 1.27

Scoreboard

Wednesday, Sep 23