ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Five hits weren’t nearly enough for the Seattle Mariners to keep their winning streak going.
Erik Bedard struck out eight in six innings against his former team and the Tampa Bay Rays stopped a 10-game slide by beating Seattle 4-0 Friday night.
“Our at-bats weren’t great,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said after his team’s five-game winning streak ended. “This is one of those days we didn’t play very well on either side of the baseball and those things happen.”
Bedard (3-4) scattered four hits and walked one in ending a three-start losing streak.
“He must have been doing something right,” McClendon said.
Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Grant Balfour, who gave up a ninth-inning single, all went one inning to complete a five-hitter.
Cole Gillespie had two hits for Seattle, including a second-inning double that put runners on second and third with none out. Bedard struck out the next three batters, and the Mariners never threatened again.
“He just kind of paints and nibbles and we weren’t able to get anything going,” said Brad Miller, the first of the three consecutive strikeout victims. “I found it a little deceptive. He kept us off balance.”
Chris Young (5-3) gave up three runs, seven hits and five walks over five innings.
“My command wasn’t as good as I’d like it to be, but there are going to be nights like that,” Young said. “You tip your cap to Erik Bedard. He shut us down. He came in and threw a great game, so really one run was enough. I wish I had gone deeper into the game, but I was fighting just to keep us in there.”
Mariners left fielder Michael Saunders left after three innings because of a sore right shoulder.
“He hurt it on deck swinging,” McClendon said. “Hopefully, he’ll be OK in a day or two.”
After Jose Molina got his first RBI this season on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly, Tampa Bay went ahead 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI bunt single by Desmond Jennings and Yunel Escobar’s run-scoring single.
The Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but failed to score when Molina popped out to shortstop. It was Molina’s 100th consecutive at-bat, including 87 this season, without an RBI.
Tampa Bay’s skid tied Boston for the longest in the majors this season. The Red Sox dropped 10 straight from May 15-25, with Tampa Bay handing them the last three losses in the streak. This was the Rays’ first victory since then.
“The last 10 games weren’t going our way, and we just put it in the past now and start a new winning streak,” Molina said.
The Rays today will honor the life of senior adviser Don Zimmer, who died Wednesday night at 83. “I got up (on Thursday’s off day) and getting ready to go to the track, and I realized Zim was not picking me up,” said McClendon, who played on the 1989 Chicago Cubs N.L. East championship team managed by Zimmer. “Zim and I have been going to the track for the last eight, nine years. I’ll miss that. Zim was an institution. He was certainly a mentor to me.” … The Mariners will salute Yankees SS Derek Jeter in a pregame ceremony before Tuesday night’s game. Jeter is retiring after this season. … Seattle LHP James Paxton (left shoulder inflammation) could resume playing catch Monday.
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