Saturday, May 15, 2010

MARINERS: M's hang on in Tampa Bay, win 4-3

After a devastating and frustrating loss Thursday afternoon, the Mariners bounced back by earning themselves an impressive 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. The M’s took control early utilizing their most unfamiliar fashion: their offense. After surprisingly hitting 2 home runs in the Baltimore the day prior, Seattle went yard 3 times yesterday to secure a big road victory.

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Franklin Gutierrez got things started in the first by pulling a home run deep in the left field bleachers with Ichiro on base, giving them an early 2-0 lead. Adam Moore made it on to the scoreboard by hitting one over the fence in the opposite way, followed by a much-needed insurance run from Mike Sweeney, whose home run barely cleared the wall in left.

The Rays were contained for most of the game thanks to the notable performances from starter Doug Fister and reliever Kaneoka Texeira. Fister threw 5.0 innings allowing only one earned run (which was scored after a balk with a runner on third in the 3rd inning), only allowing 4 hits and a single walk. Texeira was even better in relief, allowing no hits and three strikeouts over 2.0 innings. Forgiving a single walk in the 7th inning, Texeira was just about perfect.

Rays star third baseman Evan Longoria attempted to stage a comeback in the 8th, in which he went deep off of reliever Shawn Kelley with a runner on, narrowing the lead to just 4-3. After the utter collapse in the 8th inning from the day before, M’s fans all over were potentially witnessing a painful déjà vu.

In the bottom of the 9th, David Aardsma was called on to earn save number 9 on the season, and he was absolutely masterful. D.A. struck out two of the three final batters throwing only 12 pitches, 9 of which were strikes.

Seattle hopes to keep their offensive momentum going Saturday afternoon as they continue their series against the AL East leading Rays. Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.00) takes the mound for the M’s and will try to maintain his impressive start to the season, as he faces the imposing James Shields (4-1, 3.13) for TB.

Reach Jacob Kehle at