Thursday, May 6, 2010

MARINERS: M's fall again to TB 8-3, lose 5th in a row

The M’s achieved their longest losing streak of the year Wednesday evening, suffering an 8-3 loss to Tampa. Seattle gained an early 2-0 lead in the 4th off a Franklin Gutierrez homer to right, but the advantage was short lived when Cliff Lee gave up two runs in the top of the 5th. A late surge by the AL leading Rays left the Mariners in the dust once again.

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No question, the Mariners have been a big disappointment this past week losing 5 games in a row and 8 of the last 10. Currently, Seattle is struggling to keep their record near the .500 mark (11-16) and is in the bottom of the AL West, three games behind Oakland (15-14).

To their defense, the M’s faced one of the best young pitchers in the league last night in Matt Garza. The Rays’ ace shined last night finishing with 8.0 IP and allowing only 2 ER off of 5 hits. His only mistake occurred in the 4th with the aforementioned HR given up to Gutierrez.

Cliff Lee hosted Safeco Field for his second start last night, and was very impressive for 7 innings maintaining a 2-2 tie going into the 8th. Wakamatsu didn’t have anyone in the bullpen getting loose for the 8th, and figured Cliff could finish what he started by keeping the offensively-powered Tampa squad at bay.

The ultimate decision was imminently a bad one, as Cliff Lee lost his composure and allowed three more runs in the 8th (only two of which were earned), and the Rays earned a 5-2 lead moving into the bottom of the inning. Lee finished the night as followed: 8.0 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 10 H, with 0 BB. With the showing of Matt Garza, however, there was little chance of any comeback the Mariners could compose.

The 9th inning immediately got out of hand when reliever Sean White entered the game, throwing a total 22 pitches and only 7 of them finding the strike zone. The Rays scored three easy runs off White, which essentially was the seal on the envelope for Wednesday’s game.

The Mariners will hope to avoid a sweep Thursday evening at Safeco, providing Ryan Rowland (Hypen) Smith (0-1, 5.28) as Tampa Bay will offer Jeff Niemann (1-0, 2.76). Hypen is coming off of two effective starts on the road, both of which earned no decisions, and it most certainly looking forward to a humble homecoming, and hopefully will receive some run support from the bats in return.

Reach Jacob Kehle at