The Mariners begin the night in first place in the American League West, despite a rather dramatic lack of middle-of-the-lineup production.
Through the first 13 games, no one has more two-out RBI than Endy Chavez (3). Adrian Beltre and Jose Lopez have two apiece, but this is not yet a team that produces two-out runs.
If they don't score much tonight, it'll figure. Since the start of the 2006 season, Jarrod Washburn has the worst run support (4.28 runs per game) of any starting pitcher in the American League.
In 120 starts since the beginning of the 2006 season, Washburn's teams have scored two runs or less in his games 58 times - and not scored at all in 13.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
Something to think about ...
Starting from behind
A walk to leadoff hitter Jason Bartlett cost Wasbhurn when Evan Longoria doubled on a sinker that stayed up.
That was bad, but Pat Burrell singled home Longoria with two outs and the Mariners are down two runs before coming to bat.
How can a veteran pitcher walk the first batter of the game? Focus, usually. In the big leagues, you can't go to the mound feeling for your stuff. Do and you end up with an inning like Washburn's.
Rays 2, Mariners 0.
Two can play this game
Endy Chavez walked and with one out, Ken Griffey Jr. tried to drop a bunt down the third base line against a dramatic infield shift.
Instead, he one-hopped his bunt to the mound, where Andy Sonnanstine fielded and threw wild to second base - everybody safe.
With two outs, Mike Sweeney rolled a single up the middle for an unearned run.
After one: Rays 2, Mariners 1
Life on the edge
Washburn skirted disaster in the fourth inning, loading the bases with two outs on a pair of hits and a walk.
He coaxed a ground ball from second base man Akinori Iwamura, Belte fielded cleanly and the Rays failed to score.
Tampa keeps pushing, Washburn manaages to hold. That's not a trend that's likely to last.
The Mariners need runs.
Rays 2, Mariners 1
The Mariners get runs
Mike Sweeney started the fourth by getting hit by a pitch, took third when Jose Lopez singled and then ...
Well, Gabe Kapler was playing so shallow in center field than when Rob Johnson hit a long fly ball his way, he couldn't get to it and it fell for a two-run triple.
Two batters later, Yuniesky Betancourt hit one to left center field and Kapler - still playing shallow - couldn't get that either.
Then Ichiro laid down what appeared to be a great squeeze bunt, except Betancourt didn't score. In fact, Betancourt barely moved at third base.
After four: Mariners 4, Rays 2
Good night, Mr. Washburn
The veteran lefty could be 3-0 for the first time since 1998, and he's pitched well enough to win again.
Washburn has gone seven innings, allowed two runs and been dominant against Tampa's left-handed hitters. They've gone 0-for-10 tonight with six strike outs.
Two innings left, and it's up to the bullpen.
Mariners 4, Rays 2.
And that's a wrap
David Aardsma worked the eighth, Brandon Morrow the ninth and Seattle wins its 9th of the young season.
The final: Mariners 4, Rays 2