ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Robinson Cano admitted it felt great getting a couple key hits.
The second baseman drove in two runs, Roenis Elias threw six solid innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 on Monday night.
“Hopefully, we start from today,” said Cano, who raised his average from .247 to .253 after going 2 for 4.
Seattle took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by Cano and Nelson Cruz. Cano entered the game hitless in his previous 12 at-bats. He made it 3-1 on a run-scoring single in the eighth.
“There’s nothing like positive results,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “The guy’s track record is so good, you know he’s going to hit. You’re just waiting on when. It does show how good we can be from a lineup standpoint when he’s hitting.”
Elias (2-1) gave up one run and six hits. Mark Lowe, Carson Smith and Fernando Rodney, who pitched the ninth for his 13th save, completed an eight hitter.
“He hasn’t disappointed,” McClendon said of Elias.
Mike Zunino’s solo homer in the ninth put a cap on it.
Jake Odorizzi (3-5) allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, and Logan Forsythe homered for the Rays, who have lost three in a row.
“That’s what I’m most proud about, that I was still able to go deep into this game after a rough start,” Odorizzi said.
Odorizzi has pitched at least six innings in all 10 starts this season, and has a 2.31 ERA.
“Incredible how consistent he’s been throughout the year,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Forsythe cut the Rays’ deficit to 2-1 on a sixth-inning homer. He’s driven in all three Tampa Bay runs the last three games.
Elias worked out of two-on, one-out jams in the second and fourth by retiring Kevin Kiermaier and Nick Franklin in both innings. Rene Rivera, who had a leadoff double off Elias in the fifth but was left stranded at third base, hit a grounder with two on to end the sixth.
Tampa Bay went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position against Elias, and was hitless in 10 chances overall.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a sixth-inning double.
This was the first matchup of major league managers who played in the Little League World Series. McClendon was with Gary, Indiana, in 1971, while Cash was part of the 1989 Tampa, Florida, team.
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