Good Morning With the Tampa Bay Rays

Rays play until after 2:00 Eastern, fall to Mariners in 13

There always seems to be one game in Seattle that never seems to end. It’s something it seems like every eastern team goes through; that game that goes outside of regulation to be decided in the wee hours of the morning.

That seemingly annual occurrence—if only there were a cliché for something in Seattle that leaves a person without sleep, say a reference—came on Friday night and into Saturday morning as the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners went into the thirteenth inning to decide a winner. The Mariners took it in the bottom half of the fourth extra frame when Mitch Haniger homered to center field.

The game had been going along at a fine pace in the first nine innings. The Rays entered the top of the ninth inning less than three hours into the game, but things began to elongate when Tampa Bay rallied for the game-tying run in the top of the ninth off a Matt Duffy single. From there, a parade of relief pitchers and situational hitting followed. There’s always that one game in Seattle.

Tampa Bay only had two baserunners in extra innings. Daniel Robertson reached on a walk in the 11th inning, only to get picked off on a nice move by catcher Mike Zunino, another out on the basepaths in what is becoming a nasty habit for the Rays. Johnny Field reached base in the 12th on a single, going on to steal second, but he was stranded there.

Matt Andriese took the loss, giving up the homer after pitching a scoreless 12th inning. Roenis Elias got the win for the Mariners, pitching two scoreless innings to give the Mariners more walkoff opportunities.

Romo the Friday night “opener” again

Friday night marked another “bullpen day” assembly of Tampa Bay pitchers that put up a solid performance free from traditional pitching roles. Sergio Romo got the first four outs, giving way to Austin Pruitt who added fifteen more. Pruitt surrendered three runs on seven hits over what turned out to be five innings and 79 pitches, getting by without his best stuff. He left with the Rays trailing 3-0, but limiting the damage allowed Tampa Bay to get back in the game on home runs by Carlos Gomez and Johnny Field before tying it on Duffy’s ninth inning single.

Colome, Span take on Rays

The Rays got their first taste of hitting against Alex Colome on Friday night. The former Tampa Bay closer took the eighth inning for the Mariners, taking care of the Rays in order with a strikeout and just ten total pitches in the frame.

Denard Span did not start on Friday night, but he made an appearance as a pinch runner and took over DH duties from Nelson Cruz in extra innings.

The Rays continue their series in Seattle Saturday night, with Chris Archer taking the hill and the Rays hoping he can eat some innings to give a tired bullpen some rest. Seven pitchers saw the mound on Friday night, and while the Rays’ young arms are eager to get back out there it is a starter’s job to ease the workload. With Tampa Bay’s plan revolving around bullpen days and stringing outs together, those starting pitchers’ innings are as important as ever.

Tim Williams has been covering sports since his days as a student at Northeastern University covering events such as the Beanpot. In the thirteen years since, he has covered college hockey, the NFL, Major League Baseball, the PGA Tour, and the National Hockey League. A native of the Tampa Bay area, Tim has returned home after living much of his life in the northeast, including sixteen years in the Boston area. These days the Managing Editor of Sports Talk Florida can be found on Florida's golf courses when he's not working.