ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Blake Beavan put the final touches on Seattle’s strong road trip.
Beavan scattered four hits over eight innings and the Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Sunday to finish a 5-2 trip.
“A great performance,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “I’ll tell you what, he did a great job with his fastball. He moved it around. But his secondary stuff was big for him. Really controlled the ballgame.”
Jesus Montero and Brendan Ryan each had an RBI double for the Mariners, who took two of three from the Rays.
“A real good road trip,” Wedge said. “It’s tough to win on the road. It’s tough to win in general. The two losses we did have were walk-offs, so they were tight ballgames throughout.”
Beavan (5-6) struck out five and walked none, outpitching Matt Moore in a tight duel. Tom Wilhelmsen worked a scoreless ninth for his 10th save, completing the five-hitter.
“That’s what happens when you mix pitches up,” Beavan said. “You get them off balance. For me, that was my goal, just going in there and mixing them up.”
Matt Joyce hit a two-out double off Wilhelmsen, who then walked Jeff Keppinger. Pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui, mired in an 0-for-16 skid, ended the game on a first-pitch popup to shortstop.
Seattle stopped a nine-game losing streak to the Rays with Saturday night’s 2-1 win.
“We’ve been on the losing side of things the past year or so,” Wilhelmsen said. “Guys stepped up big-time.”
Moore (6-7) gave up two runs, five hits and struck out seven in eight innings for the Rays, who went 4-6 on their longest homestand of the season. The left-hander retired his final 17 batters.
“It’s a difficult moment because we really did not take advantage of some pretty good opportunities over the last couple days,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “When you get that kind of pitching, you don’t want to lose. So we have to figure out a way to get beyond that.”
Seattle took a 2-1 lead on Ryan’s second-inning double. Michael Saunders scored after reaching on a bunt single and stealing second.
Desmond Jennings reached leading off the eighth when Ryan misplayed his grounder at shortstop and went to second on Jose Molina’s grounder. After advancing to third on a grounder by Elliot Johnson, Jennings was left stranded when Beavan got a pop fly from B.J. Upton.
Casper Wells started the first with a double, but was thrown out at third on Ichiro Suzuki’s bunt. Suzuki then stole second and third before scoring on Montero’s double to put the Mariners ahead 1-0.
Tampa Bay tied it in the bottom half when Ben Zobrist hit a two-out double that deflected off first base and Joyce followed with an RBI single.