Mariners 5, Devil Rays 2

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—The Seattle Mariners got a rare road win. Manager Bob Melvin missed all of it.

Ron Villone allowed two runs in six-plus innings and Miguel Olivo hit a three-run homer, leading the Mariners over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-2 Saturday night.

Melvin was ejected while exchanging lineup cards before the game when he argued with crew chief Joe West. It came one day after Seattle lost to Tampa Bay when the winning run scored on a disputed obstruction call in the 10th inning.

“I didn’t intentionally want to go out there and get thrown out, but I got a little more heated than I probably should have,” Melvin said. “I don’t blame him for throwing me out. I just brought up some of the things I probably shouldn’t have brought up from last night. Now it is over, at least in my mind.”

Carl Crawford was on third with the bases loaded and one out Friday night when Tino Martinez hit a fly ball to left field. Mariners shortstop Jose Lopez moved toward third and positioned himself between Crawford and left fielder Raul Ibanez.

Third base umpire Paul Emmel ruled that Lopez obstructed Crawford’s view of the catch and awarded Crawford home.

Coming off a poor start, Villone (4-2) gave up four hits, three walks and struck out two. He allowed seven runs over 3 2-3 innings in the Mariners’ 9-7 loss Tuesday at Baltimore.

“I think everybody kind of enjoys that because from the get-go—maybe even before the get-go—I guess it’s a little spark in a sense,” Villone said of Melvin’s ejection. “We’ll take any spark.”

Olivo made it 4-0 with his three-run shot in the second for Seattle, which is 3-10 on a 14-game road trip. Two of the wins have come in the past three games against Tampa Bay.

The Mariners are 16-42 on the road, winning just three of their last 25 away from Safeco Field.

J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his first career save.

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-5 Saturday and is hitting an AL-best .357. He has 32 hits in last 62 at-bats.

Aubrey Huff hit his 20th homer of the season for Tampa Bay. It’s his third straight year of 20 or more.

Mark Hendrickson (8-10) gave up five runs and 11 hits in 6 1-3 innings for the Devil Rays, who are 7-5 during a season-long 13-game homestand.

Tampa Bay is hitting .191 and has scored 29 runs the past 10 games.

“I don’t know what to do,” Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella said. “What can I do?”

Piniella then asked reporters for suggestions. The first response was to put names in a hat to choose a lineup.

“We’re getting close to it, I can tell you that,” Piniella said. “Better suggestion is to work the waiver wires and see if we can get a couple hitters in here. That would be a better suggestion.”

Bret Boone put the Mariners up 1-0 with an RBI single in the first. The lead grew to 4-0 when Olivo hit a three-run homer one inning later.

Huff pulled Tampa Bay to 4-1 with his solo homer in the fourth.

Seattle left six runners—including five in scoring position—on base through the fifth.

Bucky Jacobsen extended the Seattle lead to 5-1 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Tampa Bay got the run back in the bottom half on Rey Sanchez’s sacrifice fly.

Plate umpire Mike DiMuro was involved in a strange play in the seventh.

Tampa Bay’s Julio Lugo walked on Villone’s pitch that went to the backstop. As Lugo went to first, DiMuro handed catcher Olivo a new baseball.

After a short pause, Lugo took a couple steps from first toward second, but play had already been stopped.

“I asked for the ball from the umpire,” Olivo said. “I thought he hit the ball with the bat. He called ball four. I don’t know. It got crazy out there. It confused me.”


Suzuki has a major league-leading 54 multihit games this season. … Huff had gone five games without an RBI. He has driven in 19 runs in his last 23 games. … Boone has a 12-game hitting streak.

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