Rodriguez's baserunning gaffe helps sink Rays
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon can understand a wide array of mistakes that can happen on a baseball field. However, getting picked off second base in a one-run game isn't one of them.
The Rays were trailing the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in the eighth inning. Sean Rodriguez had come into the game to run for James Loney as the Rays had runners on first and second with no outs. But Rodriguez was caught getting too big a lead off the bag and Carter Capps snapped a throw to second base that caught Rodriguez for the first out of the inning.
The lost base runner proved costly for Tampa Bay as Luke Scott doubled to drive in Wil Myers all the way from first and tie the score at 4-4. If Rodriguez had still been on base, the Rays would have taken the lead. The Mariners scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead and hand the Rays a 6-4 loss.
''You're going to have frustrating moments - balls off players' gloves, whatever, that stuff happens. But you can't make that baserunning mistake there,'' Maddon said. ''The one part of that game that really upset me was that.''
Maddon said they didn't have a play on - they weren't trying to steal a bag or hit and run in that situation. Rodriguez simply got caught.
''It should never happen and it did,'' Rodriguez said. ''Just straight messed up play. I messed up. I don't know how to explain it. I just messed up.''
Missed plays defensively also contributed to the loss.
Kyle Seager hit a fly ball off Joel Peralta (2-6) deep into the gap in left-center. Though center fielder Desmond Jennings got in position for the play, the ball caromed off the heel of his glove and fell to the turf allowing Seager to reach second base on the error.
Kendrys Morales walked before Justin Smoak's fly down the right field line also deflected off the glove of a diving Wil Myers. Seager and pinch-runner Abraham Almonte scored to give the Mariners a 6-4 lead.
''How many tough losses have we had? How many games have we been in where we were a hit or a play or a pitch away? Tonight we were on the good side of it which was good to see,'' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Capps (3-3) picked up the victory in relief and Danny Farquhar pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 13th save.
Brad Miller doubled to lead off the game for Seattle and scored on a sacrifice fly by Seager to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.
The Rays tied it in the second inning. Delmon Young crushed a solo home run off Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma to left-center field.
Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria each singled with two outs in the third inning and Matt Joyce drew a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Zobrist to score from third to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. Iwakuma managed to work out of the jam by getting Young to ground out to second to end the inning.
Seattle retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning. Nick Franklin reached on a fielder's choice and stole second base. Franklin Gutierrez singled up the middle past the outstretched glove of pitcher Alex Cobb to drive in Franklin and tie it. Gutierrez added a stolen base to get into scoring position for Seager, who delivered an RBI single to give the Mariners a 3-2 lead.
Raul Ibanez hit his 27th home run off Cobb to lead off the fourth inning and extend the Mariners' lead.
Cobb allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings for Tampa Bay. He struck out five and walked one.
The Rays closed the gap in the sixth inning. Young doubled and the Mariners elected to walk Myers to bring Jose Molina to the plate. Molina answered with a single that scored Young and chased Iwakuma from the game.
Iwakuma allowed three runs and eight hits with five strikeouts over 5 2-3 innings for Seattle.
NOTES: Maddon said the Rays rotation for their upcoming series with Boston will consist of David Price, Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson. Both Hellickson and Chris Archer will get an extra day of rest before their next start. Archer will start against Minnesota. ... Ibanez is just the third player in major league history to hit at least 27 home runs in a season at 41 years of age or older. Only Ted Williams (29 home runs, 41 years old) and Barry Bonds (28 home runs, 42 years old) have hit more. ... Cobb allowed more than two runs for the first time since June 10 and only the third time this season he has allowed four or more. ... Seager tallied his 20th multi-RBI game this season and extended his hitting streak to eight games.