I admit, when this game started and the Rays got the first run, and Kikuchi looked uneven, I was ready to pre-write a winning game recap and feel very pleased with myself. But if there’s anything I’ve learned watching baseball: never trust an early read, and never pre-write a recap assuming a win.
Things started off nicely for the Rays. Margot singled to lead off the first, then Meadows singled, advancing Margot to third. Diaz grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Margot, and just like that, the Rays were on the board. Here it is, enjoy it, the first (and only) run the Rays scored.
Things went from awesome to terrible very, very quickly as Michael Wacha came out and (Googles a polite word for “sucked”) struggled with his command against the Mariners. Crawford doubled to lead off the inning, then Seager singled, and Crawford was able to score on a throwing error by Margot, which also enabled Seager to arrive safely at second. France singled, then former Willy Adames BFF Jake Bauers singled to score Seager. Long Jr. singled to score France, and Torrens singled to score Bauers, putting the Mariners up 4-1 in just the bottom of the first inning.
Walls collected a walk in the top of the second, but no runs scored, and while Kyle Seager got a single, he was out trying to stretch it into a double.
This right here could have been overturned, I think, but the Mariners opted not to go for the review, so lucky Rays. (Though later there was as safe call at first for the Mariner’s that likely could have been overturned and the Rays did not review it, so I suppose it balances out.)
The Rays went down in order in the top of the third, and then the Mariners continued chipping away at Wacha. France doubled, Bauers singled, Long Jr. walked. Bases loaded and Torrens singled to score France. The inning could have been a lot worse, granted, but the score was still 5-1 M’s by the time it was over.
Once again in the fourth the Rays went down in order, and while the Mariners did not score in the bottom of the inning, a France single was what finally and perhaps belatedly drove Wacha from the game with a final line for the night of 3.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR on 77 pitches. He gave way to Andrew Kittredge who finished off the inning with a strikeout to Bauers.
Margot collected a single in the top of the fifth, but no runs scored. For the Mariners, Moore reached on a hit by pitch, but then the baserunners were erased as Long Jr. hit into a double play.
Brosseau got a walk in the top of the sixth, but no luck getting any runs in for the Rays. Collin McHugh came on for the Rays, giving up a single to Crawford, then a single to Haniger, but Seager grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Walls, having himself a decent night, got a double in the top of the seventh, but don’t get too excited, nothing else happened for the Rays. McHugh had a nice bottom of the inning though, setting the Mariners down 1-2-3. Evidently, it is possible to strike out Ty France.
The eighth was a quiet affair with both sides going down in order.
Some pretty impressive catches by the Mariners, including a stretch by Fraley to rob Brandon Lowe of a double kept the Rays off the basepaths and ended the game in the M’s favor. Haniger appeared to end the inning with a catch, but it very much looked like it bounced off the ground first, and while fireworks started going off in the stadium, Kevin Cash did not look ready to yield the win immediately. And sure enough, Ji-Man Choi was awarded a single and the game continued.
For one more batter, then Walls struck out and the Rays losing streak extended to four.
Final: Rays 1, Mariners 5