The Seattle Mariners finally halted Tampa Bay’s recent dominance of their matchups and seek to beat the host Rays for the second consecutive day in Sunday’s series finale. Seattle had lost nine straight games to Tampa Bay prior to Saturday’s 2-1 victory. The teams have combined to strike out 56 times in the first two games of the series – 32 by the Mariners and 24 by the Rays.
Tampa Bay Rays is nearing the point where focus will be solely on one of the two wild-card spots. The Rays are in third place in the American League East, and sit 8 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees. Outfielder B.J. Upton’s next homer will be the 100th of his career. Coincidentally, his younger brother, Justin, of the Arizona Diamondbacks also has 99 career homers. Seattle saw a team record 12-game errorless streak end Saturday when Ichiro Suzuki made a throwing miscue to allow Tampa Bay’s lone run to score.
Mariners Rays Betting
When: 1:40 PM ET, Sunday, July 22, 2012
Where: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
TV: 1:40 p.m. ET, ROOT (Seattle), SUN (Tampa Bay)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Blake Beavan (4-6, 6.06 ERA) vs. Rays LH Matt Moore (6-6, 4.39)
Beavan returned from a five-week stint in the minors to beat the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday despite allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings. Including three starts prior to his demotion, Beavan has allowed 22 earned runs in his last 19 major-league innings. Beavan lost to Tampa Bay on May 2 when he gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, including homers to Sean Rodriguez and Luke Scott.
Moore has won five of his last six decisions to overcome a slow start. He defeated the Cleveland Indians in his last outing when he gave up two runs and three hits in five innings. Moore’s lone career start against Seattle was on May 1 when he allowed one run and seven hits in five innings. The run came on a homer by Michael Saunders.
1. Tampa Bay LHP Cesar Ramos was recalled Saturday and struck out six in four hitless innings of relief. He was being sent back down to Triple-A Durham after the contest.
2. Saunders has eight RBIs since the All-Star break, including a two-run single that drove in the only Seattle runs on Saturday.
3. Rays DH Hideki Matsui went 0-for-4 on Saturday and is hitless in his last 16 at-bats while striking out seven times.