- Sports & Recreation
- Seattle Mariners
- Tampa Bay Rays
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By Scott Johnson, The Sports Xchange September 7, 2013 1:50 AM
SEATTLE -- The Tampa Bay Rays' two-week slide from near wild-card certainty continued Friday night, when a costly error in the bottom of the eighth inning led to a 6-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Center fielder Desmond Jennings dropped a sure out before Seattle's Justin Smoak drove in a pair of unearned runs with a two-out double, handing Tampa Bay its 10th loss in a span of 13 games. The Devil Rays (77-63) now lead Cleveland and Baltimore by just two games in the race for the second wild-card berth in the American League playoffs. Tampa's Wil Myers nearly made up for the Jennings error with a diving catch of his own, but he failed to come up with Smoak's liner down the right-field line as Seattle broke a 4-4 tie. Reliever Joel Peralta (2-6) suffered the loss despite not giving up an earned run, while Seattle's Carter Capps (3-3) got through a shaky eighth inning to earn his first win since April. The Mariners' Danny Farquhar pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 13th save of the season. Tampa Bay's Delmon Young, in his second stint with the Rays after being signed to a minor league contract two weeks ago, had a solo home run and a sixth-inning double, but also had a costly strikeout to end the seventh with two runners on base. He also recorded the second out of the ninth inning with a fly out to right field before Farquhar got Myers to hit into a game-ending groundout. A pinch-hit double by Tampa's Luke Scott tied the score at 4-4 with two outs in the eighth inning, but that clutch hit came after pinch-runner Sean Rodriguez was picked off second base. Rodriguez would have easily scored on the double, but the Rays had to settle for a tie instead of a one-run lead heading into the ninth. The Rays stranded 12 runners. Seattle (64-77) won for just the second time in six September games. Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma allowed three runs off eight hits over 5 2/3 innings, and Tampa's Alex Cobb went six innings -- giving up seven hits and four runs while striking out five -- but neither pitcher factored into the decision. Notes: A young fan was hit in the head when Kendrys Morales lost control of his bat, sending it into the stands after swinging at a third strike to end the third inning. Medical personnel escorted the injured fan for treatment. ... If the 41-year-old Ibanez hits three more homers, he will become the oldest player in history to reach 30 for a season. ... The last time the Rays played in Seattle, Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game on Aug. 15, 2012.Hernandez is not scheduled to pitch in this series. ... Tampa's Myers and Seattle's Nick Franklin entered Friday night's game with 42 RBIs apiece, the most among AL rookies this season. ... Mariners LHP James Paxton is scheduled to make his major league on Saturday. The 24-year-old struggled at times during 26 starts at Triple-A Tacoma compiling an 8-11 record with a 4.45 ERA.