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Rays 1, Mariners 3: Rays offense falls flat

Rays fall short

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The matchup on the mound was one where both pitchers were coming off a good runs of starts. Chris Archer put up a 2.33 ERA and 3.46 FIP in May over 38.2 innings. Marco Gonzales is a crafty lefty who has put up a 3.60 ERA and 3.29 FIP over his first 60.0 innings this year including three straight starts without an earned run.

The Tampa Bay Rays went down quietly their first time through the lineup without a hit or base runner. The first inning would remind you of Jake Odorizzi starts where he put all three hitters down, but it took 24 pitches.

Archer’s first didn’t go as smoothly. Dee Gordon led off with a solid single to center. Gordon stole second and the ball deflected off his back going far enough away to advance to third. Jesus Sucre was charged with the throwing error, but the throw was online and Christian Arroyo tried to catch the ball behind the runner allowing for the deflection. Gordon had the base stolen, but if Arroyo catches it in front of the runner at least he doesn’t move to third. Juan Segura ended up taking a four pitch walk. Mitch Haniger struck out with Segura in motion. This time Sucre caught the runner at second. Archer got out of the inning unscathed with a dribbler back to the mound off of Nelson Cruz’s bat.

Denard Span singled on a grounder up the middle with two outs in the second.

The third inning seemed to be going well until Archer once again issued a four pitch walk to Segura. Haniger and Cruz lined singles up the middle with Cruz’s drawing first blood and putting the Mariners up 1-0. Kyle Seager hit a hanging to slider over Rob Refsnyder’s head in left field driving in the second run of the frame and putting runners at second and third. Ryon Healy struck out to end the threat.

Daniel Robertson led off the fourth ending all worries of another perfect game in Seattle with a single flared over the short stop’s head. Robertson was erased on the bases on a CJ Cron grounder to third base for a double play. Matt Duffy walked, but Wilson Ramos grounded out to end the inning.

Mike Zunino was hit by a pitch after Archer struck out the first two batters in the fourth. Gordon flew out to center to end the frame.

Refsnyder lined a one out single to left field. He was picked off first on a really quick move by Gonzales. Carlos Gomez leaned into a pitch heading towards his thigh to get on base via a hit by pitch. Arroyo followed with a single, but the rally ended with Sucre hitting a ball to the warning track in left field.

The fifth inning looked like the game could’ve gotten blown open with Segura and Haniger singling. Cruz grounded into a double play and Seager grounded to first to end the inning and the night for Archer. Archer wasn’t awful allowing two runs in 5.0 innings with six strikeouts, two walks, and a HBP, but wasn’t as sharp as you would’ve liked to see.

Robertson led off the sixth with another single as the lineup flipped for the third time. With two outs Wilson Ramos hit a deep fly ball to the wall in left-center field. The ball bounced off the very top of the wall and back into play for an RBI double. The Rays ended Gonzales’s earned run streak at 24. Ramos was stranded at second as Johnny Field struck out.

In a one run game with a fairly fresh pen coming off a 13-inning game Kevin Cash decided to send out Wilmer Font. Font got ahead of Healy 0-2, but on a full count Healy got a hold of one and sent it over the left field fence to extend the Mariners lead to 3-1. After Span grounded out Guillerma Heredia walked ahead of a Zunino single. Gordon hit a medium-hard grounder to short that was initially ruled a double play, but on review Gordon was just able to beat out the throw to first. Segura grounded out to keep the deficit at two.

Arroyo walked in the seventh, but weren’t able to combine it with anything else offensively.

Font stayed on to start the seventh. Haniger went down on an infield fly ball to first. Cruz walked ending Font’s night. Ryne Stanek came in and allowed two deep fly balls that were able to be tracked by Field in center.

Former Rays closer Alex Colome took over in the eighth. Robertson, Cron, and Duffy went three up, three down.

Stanek got through the eighth after taking a comebacker off his hand. Span was thrown out by Robertson on the deflection. Stanek struck out Zunino to end the inning.

Edwin Diaz came in to close out the ninth. Diaz has been an elite reliever, but the last two outing he has blown saves. Ramos struck out looking on a fastball over the middle of the plate. Mallex Smith pinch hit for Field. Mallex hit a one hopper back to the mound deflecting off Diaz. Seager responded quickly and made the barehanded play to just get Smith at first. Joey Wendle pinch hit for Refsnyder. Wendle grounded to Diaz who was able to underhand it to first to close out the game.

The Rays offense was quiet for much of the night. Allowing three runs should put you in a good spot, but the Rays offense couldn’t come through.