The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Mariners lose 4th in a row, Rays win 3-1

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Pinterest icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
By Larry LaRue
The News Tribune
  • Mariners second baseman Kyle Seager throws over the Rays' Desmond Jennings (8) as he makes the pivot on a double play in the third inning. The Rays' B...

    Associated Press

    Mariners second baseman Kyle Seager throws over the Rays' Desmond Jennings (8) as he makes the pivot on a double play in the third inning. The Rays' Ben Zobrist was out at first base.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The math didn’t work, not when the Seattle Mariners had three times the hits, a third of the runs and yet still lost 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.
“I felt like I pitched a good game,” said Hector Noesi, who allowed three hits in six innings. “I’m learning every time out.”
The first inning beat Noesi — that and the where-did-you-hide-it-tonight Mariners offense. Two walks, a triple and a sacrifice fly, Tampa broke on top, 2-0.
That was one more than the Mariners would produce in the entire game.
“We had nine hits, we had 10 the other night, we’re getting men on base,” manager Eric Wedge said. “That’s a positive. To be effective, we’ve got to finish innings off.
“We’re striking out too often right now, We’ve got to take control of our at-bats, not leave it to the umpires.”
In 35 at-bats, Mariners hitters struck out 12 times.
It was another new lineup — this one without Chone Figgins, without the injured Miguel Olivo. And it didn’t matter.
Since winning four games in a row, the Mariners have played four games, lost each one and scored all of five times.
“When things aren’t going well, there comes a time when you have to make it happen,” Wedge said. “We’re fighting through at-bats, we’re getting men on base …”
Bottom line?
“Do something,” Wedge said.
The Mariners are trying.
Jesus Montero, the rookie catcher who figures to play more behind the plate in the absence of Olivo, started this game and went four-for-four — three singles and a double.
One of the singles hit the center field wall on a line near the 404-foot mark, banging back to outfielder B.J. Upton so quickly Montero had no choice but to stop at first.
Great night? It was the first four-hit game of his career.
Montero didn’t score. Didn’t drive a run in.
“We didn’t win,” he said. “I hope I can help us win (today).”
Ichiro Suzuki had another two hits, a single and a double, and not only pulled his average above .300 (.302) but made a little history, too. The hits gave him 2,460 in his caeer, matching the total of Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith.
If you’re counting, that puts Suzuki in a tie for 104th place on baseball’s all-time hit list.
But Suzuki didn’t score a run or drive one in on Tuesday.
The lone Mariners run came in the fourth inning, with the Rays leading 3-0. Michael Saunders hammered his fourth home run of the season off left-hander Matt Moore.
After that, the Mariners managed five more hits — twice getting two in an inning — but no more runs.
Which pushed them to a startling statistic: In their past four games, the team is a combined 0-for-30 with runners in scoring position.
“Am I frustrated? Heck, I’m up there batting cleanup, so I’m at bat with runners in scoring position a lot,” Justin Smoak said. “When you don’t get those runners in, you don’t win games.
“Part of the game is grinding it out when things go bad. We’re trying. I’m trying.”
After an 0-for-4 game, Smoak was left with a .190 batting average. Seattle is 9-12 in games that Smoak bats fourth — 2-2 in the four games someone else did.
“We’re getting guys on base, we’re just not getting the big hit,” Kyle Seager said. “You’ve just got to keep swinging it.”
For the first time in his short career, Seager came up against an exaggerated infield shift Tuesday — the Tampa infield put three men to the right of second base.
“I’ve never seen that against me before,” Seager said. “If you think about it, it gets in your head. I just took my normal approach.”
And he got one hit in four at-bats.
Seattle’s pitching was good. Hold an American League team to three runs in their home park — that’s a winnable game.
Noesi’s minor control problem in the first inning was, he said, more mental than mechanical, and he corrected it quickly. Relievers Steve Delabar and Charlie Furbush shut the Rays down in relief.
“Noesi has a lot to learn, but he gave us six good innings and we wanted him to leave on a high note,” Wedge said. “We’re trying to help him build confidence. I didn’t want to leave him out there one batter too long.”
Wedge was asked about another statistic: In games when Montero is catching, he is 13-for-24 — a .542 average.
“I think that’s true with most players, they do better when they play rather than DH,” Wedge said. “It takes a special guy to be able to go out there and DH, not sit on the bench and dissect every at-bat.”
Story tags » Mariners

More Sports Headlines


Sports headlines

Top sports stories delivered daily


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus