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Rays newcomer Bourgeois hits game-winning single

The SportsXchange

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - So new to the Tampa Bay Rays is journeyman Jason Bourgeois that manager Joe Maddon asked him before his ninth-inning at-bat on Wednesday if he knew all of the team's signs.

He did. But singling home the winning run was pretty self-explanatory.

Bourgeois capped a two-run rally with the deciding base hit off closer Danny Farquhar as the Rays snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field.

Bourgeois, 31, signed to a minor league contract this off-season and in just his fourth game with the Rays, was mobbed after his opposite-field shot flew over drawn-in right fielder Endy Chavez with the bases loaded and dropped for his first hit with the team.

"I didn't know if I was going to have a chance to come up in that situation," said Bourgeois, who entered in the eighth as a pinch runner. "I couldn't ask for a better situation."

Or a better result for the Rays (67-51), who avoided their longest losing streak in five seasons and pulled within three games of the Boston Red Sox in the American League East.

Ben Zobrist led off the ninth with a triple off the yellow boundary rail above the right field wall. He scored to tie the game when Matt Joyce tapped an 0-2 pitch well off the plate over Farquhar and up the middle, tying the game at 4.

Evan Longoria sent Joyce to third with his second double of the game before rookie Wil Myers -- who homered earlier -- was walked intentionally to reach Bourgeois.

Farquhar (0-1) failed to convert a save for the first time in six chances since taking over the closer role. Seattle has lost 11 of its last 17 games.

"Bad execution on a lot of pitches," Farquhar said. "Pitches up in the zone, middle of the plate. Major league hitters take advantage in that situation."

Joel Peralta (2-5) earned the win by pitching a scoreless top of the ninth. The Rays are 3-40 when trailing after eight innings.

Rays starter David Price was charged with four runs -- all of which scored with two outs -- on five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven.

Seattle assumed a 4-1 lead in the fifth inning by turning a two-out, bases-empty situation into runs for the second time in the game.

Price began trouble for himself by walking Dustin Ackley. Humberto Quintero followed with a chopper that third baseman Longoria fielded but was unable to make a play on. Brad Miller, who hit two home runs before almost 200 friends and family from nearby Orlando on Tuesday, then laced a two-run triple to the wall in left-center. Seattle added a run on Nick Franklin's double.

Tampa Bay finally solved Seattle starter Aaron Harang in the sixth, using four hits -- including a two-run homer by rookie Myers -- to cut its deficit to 4-3. Myers followed a leadoff Longoria double with his ninth homer of the season to break an 0-for-15 slide. The Rays got two more singles before Charlie Furbush entered to retire three straight batters, stranding the potential tie run at third.

Harang was charged with three runs on seven hits in five innings. He walked an uncharacteristic two and struck out five.

"Sixth inning, went out and it felt like I got tight in the back of my forearm a little bit," Harang said. "I was having a tough time getting good extension near the end."

Seattle manufactured a run to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning. After being grazed with a high pitch from Price with two outs and the bases empty, Kyle Seager stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a Kendrys Morales single up the middle.

"In the first with two outs and then again in the fifth with two outs, that's how everything started," Price said. "That's tough, obviously, both of those guys being left-handed, and I really feel confident with lefties up there with the bat. Wasn't able to make pitches."

The Rays rallied to tie the score at 1 in the fourth. Joyce led off with Tampa Bay's first hit of the game, moved to second on a walk and scored on James Loney's line-drive single up the middle. Harang recovered to strike out the next two batters and end the threat.

NOTES: The Rays will activate RHP Alex Cobb (6-2, 3.01 ERA) from the 60-day disabled Thursday to start against the Mariners. Cobb sustained a concussion after he was struck in the head by a line drive hit by Kansas City's Eric Hosmer on June 15 at Tropicana Field. He will be limited to 90 pitches. The Rays must make room for him on the 25- and 40-man rosters. ... Rays LHP Matt Moore is still experiencing discomfort in his elbow and will not play catch again until Sunday, after which he will be re-evaluated. ... Tampa Bay CF Desmond Jennings (broken left middle finger) took 10 swings off a tee. Maddon said Jennings could be reinstated when eligible on Monday. ... Through Tuesday, the Mariners led the majors with 47.3 percent of their runs coming off home runs.
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