August 20, 2011 in Sports

Mariners lose fourth game in a row

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jeremy Hellickson allowed six hits over eight sharp innings, Evan Longoria hit his 20th homer of the season and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 8-0 on Saturday night.

Longoria finished with four RBIs, including a two-run homer in the first. He joined Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews as the only major league third basemen to have 20 or more homers in each of their first four seasons.

Hellickson (11-8) was coming off the shortest start of his 32-game career, a 9-2 loss last Saturday to the New York Yankees in which the rookie gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Joel Peralta pitched the ninth and completed a seven-hitter for the Rays, who have won nine of 11 and improved to a season-high 12-games over .500 (68-56).

Seattle has lost four in a row. The Mariners, who entered hitting a major league-low .231, didn’t advance a runner past second base until one out in the eighth.

After Johnny Damon tripled, Longoria put the Rays ahead 2-0 on a two-run shot off Charlie Furbush (3-5) during the first. Longoria has 59 RBIs over his last 60 games.

Damon and Sean Rodriguez each had run-scoring singles, and Casey Kotchman hit a sacrifice fly in the third to put Tampa Bay ahead 5-0.

Furbush gave up five runs and eight hits in three innings. The left-hander has allowed 12 runs over seven innings in his last two road starts.

Elliot Johnson had an RBI single and Longoria drove in a pair with a single that made it 8-0 in the eighth.

Ichiro Suzuki had been hitless in nine at-bats, including his first three plate appearances Saturday, against Hellickson before getting an eighth-inning single off the right-hander.

Seattle first baseman Mike Carp extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a single in the fourth.

Mariners shortstop Luis Rodriguez appeared to get hit around the right elbow by Hellickson’s pitch in the second and left the game after running the bases. No other details about the injury were immediately available.

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