Mariners 5, Rays 4

The SportsXchange

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Brad Miller hit two home runs from the leadoff spot, and Dustin Ackley knocked in the decisive run with a sixth-inning triple as the Seattle Mariners edged the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Tuesday at Tropicana Field.

The Rays (66-51) squandered two homers from Ben Zobrist, losing their sixth consecutive game in a slide that has dropped them from the American League East lead into a battle for the second wild-card spot. The superlative pitching that put Tampa Bay in first was again missing, as Chris Archer (6-5) allowed five runs in five-plus innings.

Seattle (55-63) lost four of its previous six before capturing the opener of the three-game series against Tampa Bay. Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (4-0) struck out seven and allowed four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Danny Farquhar pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fifth save.

Tampa Bay went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. The Mariners were 1-for-10 but the key hit, Ackley's triple, didn't figure into that equation.

Seattle chased Archer in the top of the sixth after taking a 5-4 lead. Justin Smoak led off the inning with a single and scored on Ackley's triple off the left field wall. Rays reliever Wesley Wright entered to retire the next three batters and strand Ackley.

Seattle took a 3-2 lead in the fourth when Smoak and Ackley produced RBI singles. Raul Ibanez led off the inning with a single and took third on a Michael Morse double.

The Mariners increased the lead to 4-2 in the fifth on Miller's second homer of the game and fourth of the season. It was the first multi-homer game of his career.

Zobrist countered a Miller homer for the second time in the game when in the bottom of the inning when he whacked an Ramirez pitch into the right field stands for a 4-4 tie. Kelly Johnson doubled preceding Zobrist's ninth homer of the season.

For only the third instance in major league history -- dating to the beginning of reliable record-keeping in 1915 -- both leadoff batters hit two home runs in the same game. It happened in 1965 and 1994.

Seattle took a 1-0 lead when Miller led off the game with a homer, but the Rays responded with Zobrist's first career leadoff shot in the bottom of the inning.

Matt Joyce followed Zobrist with a single, and after an Evan Longoria single and a Wil Myers groundout, scored from third on James Loney's base hit to right. Ramirez prevented more damage, however, by striking out the next two batters to end the inning.

NOTES: Miller's leadoff home run was the first of his career and extended Seattle's club record to eight this season. ... Zobrist's 100th career homer was also the first leadoff home run of his career. It was the first time both teams led off with a homer in an American League game since Aug. 17, 2006. ... The Rays claimed Wright off waivers from the Houston Astros on Tuesday and optioned RHP Josh Lueke to Triple-A Durham. Wright, 28, was 0-4 with a 3.92 ERA for Houston, and he led all AL left-handers with 54 appearances. ... Myers totaled 55 hits, eight homers and 31 RBIs in his first 44 career games. Since 1916, only 12 others have matched those totals, including Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun and Hall of Famers Willie McCovey and Orlando Cepeda. ... Smoak has at least one hit in 11 of his past 12 games.
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