Devil Rays 5, Mariners 1

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Rookie B.J. Upton really benefited from some time off.

After sitting the previous two games, Upton hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning Sunday for his first major league RBI in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ 5-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

“They gave me a couple days to clear my mind,” Upton said. “I was a lot more relaxed out in the field. I felt like my old self again.”

Upton, the Devil Rays’ top pick in the 2002 draft, went 2-for-4 after struggling in his first four games since being called up from Triple-A Durham on Aug. 1. He entered the game 2-for-14 with two errors at shortstop.

“I thought the best approach would be to give him a couple days to settle down,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “Today he played well. It was a good ballgame for him, it really was.”

With the game tied at 1 in the sixth, Upton and Rey Sanchez hit consecutive run-scoring singles off Jamie Moyer to give the Devil Rays a 3-1 lead.

“He has a long career ahead of him,” said Rob Bell, who allowed one unearned run in seven innings. “There’ll be a lot of times when we’re thanking B.J. walking off the field. He’s an exciting young player.”

Bell (5-5) gave up six hits, struck out six and walked one for his second win in his last three starts.

Jesus Colome allowed three hits in 1 2-3 scoreless innings. Danys Baez came in with two runners on and two outs in the ninth, and got Randy Winn to line out to first on the 12th pitch of the at-bat for his 24th save in 26 chances.

Tampa Bay split the four-game series to complete its season-high 13-game homestand 8-5. The Devil Rays had a 2.33 ERA over the stretch.

“That’s why we went 8-5,” Piniella said.

Seattle, meanwhile, went 3-11 on a 14-game, four-city road trip—only the fourth time the Mariners lost that many on a road trip.

“It’s been a rough one,” Mariners second baseman Bret Boone said. “It seems like we’ve had a lot of rough ones this year. It can test your character, I’ll tell you that.”

Seattle is 16-43 on the road, and has lost 23 of its last 26 games away from Safeco Field.

Moyer (6-8) allowed five runs and 13 hits in 6 1-3 innings, falling to 0-6 with four no-decisions since his last win at Pittsburgh on June 18. Twelve of the 13 hits off Moyer were singles, including two infield hits and a number of flares into the outfield.

“What are you going to do?” Moyer said. “As a pitcher, it reiterates to me that you’ve got to make pitches. I felt like I made some pretty good pitches, but the results weren’t there. You look at the numbers, you can’t say it’s a good game. We lost.”

The Devil Rays finished with 15 hits. They had 61 hits—and hit .191—in their previous 10 games.

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-5 to raise his AL-best batting average to .357. He has 34 hits in his last 67 at-bats.

Julio Lugo put the Devil Rays up 1-0 with an RBI single in the third for Tampa Bay, which was 0-for-17 dating to Wednesday with runners in scoring position.

Seattle tied it at 1 in the fourth when Jose Lopez scored from third with two outs as third baseman Aubrey Huff made an errant to throw to first on Willie Bloomquist’s grounder. Tampa Bay has allowed 20 unearned runs in the past 24 games.

Huff and Jose Cruz Jr. made it 5-1 on RBI singles in the seventh for the Devil Rays.


Moyer tied his career high by allowing 13 hits. … Boone singled in the first, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. … Tampa Bay backup C Brook Fordyce singled in the eighth snapping an 0-for-23 slump. … Devil Rays C Toby Hall got the day off. He has one hit in his last 28 at-bats. … Seattle 1B Scott Spiezio has gone 14 games without an RBI.

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