Young drives in 4, Devil Rays defeat Mariners 9-2

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SEATTLE (AP)—The late-season collapse continued for the Seattle Mariners.

Delmon Young had four RBIs and fellow rookie Andy Sonnanstine gave up one run in seven innings, helping the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat Seattle 9-2 on Sunday to drop the slumping Mariners further off the playoff pace.

With 14 games left, Seattle is 6 1/2 behind New York in the wild-card chase. The Mariners split the four-game series with the Devil Rays after winning the first two.

“It’s an uphill battle for sure,” Seattle manager John McLaren said. “We need a lot of help and we need to help ourselves. My main thought is to finish strong and see what happens.”

The Mariners were one game out of first place in the AL West and three games ahead in the wild-card race on Aug. 24, but are just 5-17 since. They start a three-game series Monday at Oakland.

Carlos Pena hit his 40th homer for Tampa Bay. Sonnanstine (6-9) worked out of jams in the fifth and sixth, scattering six hits and striking out eight with a pair of walks.

“The whole infield came to the mound, everybody was real positive telling me I was going to get out of it,” Sonnanstine said of the bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth. “It made me believe.”

In the fifth, the Mariners had runners on first and second before Sonnanstine fanned two and got a flyout.

Carl Crawford hit a two-run double to left in the fifth to give the Devil Rays a 3-1 lead. Young belted a two-run double in a three-run seventh to make it 7-1 and added a two-run single in the eighth.

McLaren removed starter Jarrod Washburn in the fifth after Crawford’s double and back-to-back walks loaded the bases. Reliever Jon Huber halted the rally on just his second pitch by inducing a double play.

Washburn (9-15) allowed three runs and six hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Prior to Sunday, Washburn had a 10-2 career record against Tampa Bay and had won five of his last six starts against the Devil Rays.

But Washburn, similar to the rest of the starting rotation, has struggled over his last several weeks. He failed to record an out past the sixth inning for the fifth consecutive game.

“I made good pitches,” Washburn said. “The only mistake I made the whole game was the home run to Pena. But it’s frustrating. I thought I threw the ball well and didn’t have anything to show for it.”

Beltre hit a solo homer to left to tie the game at 1 just one pitch after Ichiro Suzuki got thrown out trying to steal second.

Pena hit a solo shot to center to give the Devil Rays a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Brendan Harris had three hits for Tampa Bay.

“That’s quite a story,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said about Pena. “We thought he would hit well and hit with power but not to the extent that he has. Reaching that goal for him has to be significant in that he has proven to himself that he can do it.”

The strong starting pitching and consistent hitting has given Maddon plenty of confidence in the Devil Rays over the last few weeks.

“I like the level of play we are at right now,” Maddon said. “We believe we can beat anybody on any given night, period.”

Charlton Jimerson hit a home run in the ninth to make it 9-2.

“Until we’re mathematically eliminated, we have a chance,” Washburn said. ^Notes: Crawford strained his left groin running to first in the ninth and is day-to-day. … Pena became the 110th player to hit at least 40 home runs in a season, and the 54th different AL player. … Beltre hit his 25th homer to give him at least 25 homers for the second consecutive year and the fourth time in his career. … The slumping Jose Lopez started at second base for the first time in five games for the Mariners. He went 0-for-4. … In the four-game series, Tampa Bay starting pitchers were 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 27 innings. They struck out 30 with only three walks.

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