ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Seattle manager Mike Hargrove struggled to find the appropriate words to summarize the Mariners’ 10-9 victory over Tampa Bay. Devil Rays counterpart Lou Piniella didn’t even try.
“The first three innings were a different ballgame than the middle three innings. And the last three was another different game,” Hargrove said after the Mariners took an early lead, fell behind and rallied at the end to win.
“Both sides were guilty of poor pitching. That probably sums it,” Hargrove said. “We were able to take a little better advantage of it than they were.”
Piniella, who watched the Devil Rays overcome a three-run deficit only to blow a four-run lead, didn’t speak with reporters after the game.
The Mariners won for the first time in 28 tries when trailing after seven innings, thanks to a clutch performance by rookie Jeremy Reed, who homered and drove in a career-high four runs.
Reed hit a solo homer in the second inning, delivered a two-run single that made it 8-8 in the eighth and snapped a 9-9 tie in the ninth with a two-out double off Seth McClung (0-2).
The Mariners scored four times in the eighth off reliever Travis Harper, taking a 9-8 lead on pinch-hitter Dave Hansen’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Raul Ibanez drove in the first run of the inning, and Reed’s two-run single off Trever Miller made it 8-8.
“I got some good pitches to hit,” Reed said. “The one against the lefty (Miller) was a tough at-bat and result for him. It was fortunate for that ball to go through the hole. I didn’t hit it overly hard.”
Ron Villone (1-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the victory, the second straight for Seattle following a four-game losing streak.
Jorge Cantu homered off Joel Pineiro and had three RBIs for Tampa Bay, which tied it 9-all on Julio Lugo’s pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the eighth. Nick Green, Carl Crawford, Josh Phelps, Damon Hollins and Alex Gonzalez also drove in runs for the Devil Rays.
Boone and Reed homered within a five-pitch span of the second inning, giving Seattle a 2-0 lead. Ichiro Suzuki tripled and scored on Randy Winn’s single in the third. Richie Sexson doubled and scored when Boone hit into a force play to make it 4-1 in the fourth.
Boone said 250 career homers is “definitely something to be proud of.”
“Any time you go out and hit a home run and drive in a couple runs and help your team, that’s what it’s all about,” the second baseman said.
The Devil Rays rallied with four runs off Pineiro in the fourth, scoring on RBI doubles by Cantu and Hollins and RBI singles by Gonzalez and Crawford. Phelps finished off the Seattle starter with an RBI single that put Tampa Bay up 6-4 in the fifth.
“It’s good to hit the ball that way, but the bottom line is we lost the game,” said Cantu, who went 3-for-5 for his first three-hit game since April 10.
Pineiro, who hasn’t won since beating Texas on April 26, allowed seven runs and 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. Shigetoshi Hasegawa replaced him and gave up a two-run homer to Cantu, the first batter the reliever faced.
Waechter gave up five runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings for Tampa Bay. He struck out six and walked none.
The 11-year-old son of Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. First Class Paul R. Smith threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … Waechter had not allowed a run in two previous appearances against Seattle, pitching 2 1-3 scoreless innings in relief for his first major league victory on Aug. 27, 2003, and tossing a two-hit shutout in his first big league start a week later. … Suzuki went 3-for-14 in the series and is 46-for-160 (.288) against the Devil Rays, his lowest career batting average against any AL opponent. … The Devil Rays optioned LHP Jon Switzer to Triple-A Durham after the game. … Seattle is 8-17 in May and needs to win its remaining two games to avoid the second single-digit May in club history. The Mariners went 9-15 in May 1978.