Mariners Insider Blog

Seattle vs. Tampa - Game 15

Seven games into this home stand, the Mariners are 4-3, and they've won wiithout much help from their bigger hitters

Adrian Beltre is just 3-for-28 on the home stand, Jose Lopez 4-for-24, Ken Griffey Jr. 5-for-23 and Ichiro 6-for-26.

Combined, that's a .178 batting average.

So it's been pitching and defense and figuring a way to create a run or two that's kept Seattle afloat. Whatever it takes, until the weather and the bats heat up.

Tonight, it's Chris Jakubauskas vs. Jeff Niemann.

It's breezy and cool - some would say cold - and it's about time for the anthem.

That's trouble

Jakubauskas is having one of those innings he avoided all spring - one that gets worse and worse.

It started on a one-out grounder off Mike Sweeney's glove. Base hit. Then a ground ball through the left side of the infield.

Carlos Pena then banged a double into left center field (two runs), and singled over a drawn-in infield for another.

After a walk, Jakubauskas got a visit from pitching coach Rick Adair - then uncorked his second wild pitch of the inning.

The rookie then got a pop up for the second out, but walked Akinori Iwamura with his 34th pit`h to load the bases.

Jason Bartlett flied out - deep - and Jakubauskas limited the damage to three runs.

Rays 3, Mariners 0

And they add on

Rays got another run, but were prevented from a bigger inning when Franklin Gutierrez turned a sacrifice fly into a double play.

From deep center field, Gutierrez threw out Carl Crawford trying to go from first to second base.

Great throw, and saved the Mariners more trouble.

Second inning: Rays 3, Mariners 0

It's getting worse

Mike Sweeney left the game in the second inning, when a checked swing produced instant back spasms.

No sooner had he left than Tampa added another run - they've scored in every inning.

Through three, Jakubauskas has thrown 60 pitches, most uncer duress.

Rays 5, Mariners 0

And worse again

Fourth inning, and yes, the Rays scored again.

Jakubauskas had nothing but tenacity on the mound tonight. No great command, no great stuff, nothing but will.

Tampa got a one-out infield single and an RBI double, and when Carlos Pena walked, manager Don Wakamatsu went to the bullpen and reliever Sean White.

Seattle is down six and, did we mention, hitless?

Rays 6, Mariners 0

Hey! Baserunners!

Fifth inning, down seven runs, the Mariners got their first baserunner when Adrian Belre reached on an error and, moments later, Cedenno dcrew a walk.

Jose Lopez then brought a chilled, silent crowd to its feet with his second home run of the season - and Seattle's first hit of the night.

Life! This team has life!

Rays 7, Mariners 3

Moral victory!

After allowing the Rays to score in six consecutive innings, the Mariners - and Miguel Batista - shut them out in the seventh.

Oh, happy day.

Rays 8, Mariners 3


And that's a final

Mariners lose quietly, with four hits.

Final score: Rays 9, Mariners 3