SEATTLE (AP) -- For the first time in more than four months, the
Seattle Mariners no longer lead the AL West.
Seattle fell a game behind Oakland in the AL West. It's the
first time since April 14 the Mariners, who have one victory in the
past eight games, haven't held a share of first place.
"We're going to have to play every game to win, like we always
do," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said with a shrug. "We've been
in first place more days than anybody else. It's all day to day,
and now it's our turn to come back and win tomorrow."
Tampa Bay stopped a six-game losing streak.
Lugo gave the Devil Rays a 4-0 lead in the fifth, just clearing
the center-field wall on a 2-2 pitch from Joel Pineiro (13-10), who
lost his fifth straight decision after winning eight in a row.
On the next pitch, Huff launched another homer over the wall in
right-center to make it 5-0. Huff has at least two hits in six
straight games and five home runs in his last six games. His 25
homers this season are a career high.
Pineiro also allowed a homer the second by Lee that gave Tampa a
2-0 lead. Rocco Baldelli started the inning with a leadoff single.
"Everything's been there -- my fastball, slider and curve,"
Pineiro said. "Nothing's going my way right now like it did in
July when I got those eight wins in a row. Maybe September will be
good to me again."
Suzuki went 0-for-5 and is hitting .143 (6-for-42) over his last
10 games. His season average fell to .327, the lowest it's been
since it was .318 on June 6.
"We all need to look back on what's wrong with us and then go
forward," Suzuki said through a translator.
The Mariners made things interesting in the seventh. Seattle
trailed 5-3 when Bret Boone hit a two-out single off Doug Waechter
(1-0), who got the victory in his major league debut.
"I hadn't thought about it until now," Waechter said. "It's
kind of sinking in, what happened. It was really awesome."
With a full count, Olerud hit a high fly to left that dropped
foul by no more than a foot. Two pitches later, Malaska struck him
out on an inside fastball that umpire Gary Cederstrom called a
Devil Rays starter Chad Gaudin threw 4 1-3 innings, allowing
three runs -- two earned -- two hits and five walks. He left after
Seattle scored three runs, aided by Gaudin's three walks and an
error by Baldelli.
Baldelli lost sight of Ben Davis' fly to center, and it bounced
off the bill of his cap to load the bases with no outs. Gaudin got
Suzuki to pop out harmlessly, but walked Guillen to make it 5-1.
Boone's two-RBI single to left scored Sanchez and Davis, and
Piniella brought in Waechter, who was called up from Triple-A
Durham on Monday.
"Every time the phone rang out there (in the bullpen), my heart
started going like you wouldn't believe," Waechter said.
He struck out Martinez and walked Olerud, loading the bases
again. Mike Cameron then fouled out at the screen to catcher Toby
"We didn't take advantage. They did. We got beat," Boone said.
"Baseball is a tough game. Coming into the series, Tampa has
struggled a little, but you can never take them lightly. They've
played us well the whole year."
Tampa Bay put things out of reach with two runs in the eighth,
then added an unearned run in the ninth.
Boone made a great play in the third on a no-look toss to
SS Sanchez for a force at second. Boone stopped the grounder by
Baldelli, then flipped it to Sanchez while facing the right field
wall. ... Waecheter became the 25th pitcher and 50th player the
Devil Rays have used this season.