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“Comeback Kids” take fourth series in a row.

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After being swept in Seattle on their last west coast road trip back in early May, the Tampa Bay Rays welcomed in those same Seattle Mariners for three-game series at the Trop. Tampa had been playing much better baseball of late, having won three series in a row coming into the series vs the second place Mariners. Could they return the favor at home against a slumping Mariners team?

You’ll have to read on to find out…

GAME 1 – “Comeback Kids” break out as Rays overcome early hole.

Rays 8  Mariners 7

Corey Dickerson (3/4, HR, 3 RBI) and Evan Longoria (game-tying 3-run HR) helped power the Rays all the way back from a 4-0 deficit early. As has been the story for quite a few of Jake Odorizzi’s starts, one inning magnified his outing. It held true on Tuesday night as the righty gave up a quick four-spot to the Mariners in the second inning. Former Rays prospect, Mike Montgomery, would fall victim to a late-game surge by the Rays who just kept fighting back. Dickerson drove home Logan Morrison in the four-run seventh inning for what would eventually be the game-winning RBI. Alex Colome would slam the door in the ninth for his 19th save of the season in as many tries.

W: Garton (1-0)  L: Montgomery (2-2)  S: Colome (19)

GAME 2 – Walk it off – literally!

Rays 3  Mariners 2

It was just the third extra-innings game of the season for the Rays (1-1 going in) and they managed to go toe-to-toe with the Mariners all the way through til the 13th inning, four and a half hours later. Bases loaded, once again, off poor Mike Montgomery. The Rays, who once again had to come back trailing 2-0 in the fourth, had to, once again, rely on Corey Dickerson to play the hero for most of the game. However, it was Logan Morrison, who’d scored the winning run a night before, who would come up with the bases loaded walk in the bottom of the 13th to push home the winning run for Tampa Bay and clinch their fourth series win in a row. How ugly was this one? The Rays struck out 19 times and left 15 men on base in 13 innings of baseball. It’s not how you win ’em, fans – it’s just that you win ’em.

W: Andriese (6-0)  L: Montgomery (2-3)

GAME 3 – Mariners take sloppy finale.

Mariners 6  Rays 4

Blake Snell made his home debut Thursday to a sparse crowd at Tropicana Field. The lefty struggled with command early and allowed three runs on eight hits in just 3.1 innings of work before Kevin Cash pulled him for reliever Ryan Garton in the fourth inning. Snell had his velocity on point, averaging 96 MPH on the radar gun, but struggled with his breaking balls most of his outing. The Rays, down early for the third straight game, mounted another comeback scratching across two runs in the third thanks to RBIs from Steve Pearce and Logan Morrison. Garton would give up two runs in the fourth in relief of Snell with the bases loaded on an RBI double by Dae-Ho Lee. The Rays tacked on another in the bottom of the fourth when Curt Casali grounded out to drive home Taylor Motter from third with one out. Tyler Sturdevant and Garton would hold things down out of a depleted bullpen. They pitched a combined 5.2 scoreless innings of relief for the Rays. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning and two out, Brad Miller singled home Motter to pull the Rays within a run, 5-4. Former Ray reliever, Joaquin Benoit struck out the white-hot Pearce to leave the bases loaded. Kyle Seager hit a solo home run off Sturdevant in the bottom of the ninth inning to pull the Mariners back out to a 6-4 lead and Steve Cishek slammed the door in the ninth with a 1-2-3 save for Seattle.

W: Paxton (1-2)  L: Snell (0-1)  S: Cishek (15)

NEXT UP:

The first place San Francisco Giants come to town for a three-game weekend series beginning with a sold out “Pride Night” on Friday. All proceeds will go to helping victims and families of the Orlando shooting.

PROBABLES v SF:

6/17 – Archer (4-8, 4.61) v Samardzija (7-4, 3.36)

6/18 – Moore (3-4, 5.05) v Peavy (3-6, 5.83)

6/19 – Odorizzi (3-3, 3.79) v TBD

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