SEATTLE (AP) -- Seattle manager Mike Hargrove's second big
decision in the late innings easily made up for one that failed.
Pinch-hitter Dave Hansen hit a two-out single with the bases
loaded in the eighth inning, sending the Mariners past the Tampa
Bay Devil Rays 6-5 Saturday night.Hansen worked a full-count against Tampa Bay closer Danys Baez
(4-1), and hit a fastball into center field that scored Richie
Sexson and Raul Ibanez. Center fielder Alex Sanchez misplayed the
ball and Bret Boone scored from first with the winning run.It was Seattle's second win this season when trailing after the
seventh inning."It is a game of percentages. Sometimes it works and sometimes
it doesn't," Hargrove said. "That was as good an at-bat as we've
had all year."The move that failed came in the seventh, when Hargrove brought
in left-handed reliever Ron Villone to face lefties Sanchez and
Carl Crawford and Seattle holding a 2-1 lead.Sanchez hit a two-run double on Villone's first pitch and
Crawford hit the next pitch for a two-run single, giving Tampa Bay
a 5-2 lead.Seattle scored a run in the seventh as Willie Bloomquist scored
on Ichiro Suzuki's sacrifice fly.In the eighth, Sexson walked with one out, followed by an
infield single from Ibanez. Boone walked to load the bases, and
after Jeremy Reed struck out, Hansen singled. It was Hansen's first
hit as a pinch-hitter this year. He started the season fifth
all-time in pinch-hits."My mind-set was really to zone him up to a pitch I could
handle," Hansen said. "I wasn't thinking of putting it in the gap
or anything, I was just trying to hit it back up the middle.
Usually that doesn't happen, but tonight it went right up the
middle."Julio Mateo (2-1) pitched the eighth for Seattle, and Eddie
Guardado worked the ninth for his 150th career save and 16th this
season. He is tied for the American League lead in saves and has
not given up a run in his last 10 innings pitched.Baez blew his fifth save of the season."Quite frankly, I'm getting tired of losing the same way,"
Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "It's something we've been in
all year and I hope we get out of it soon, because it's hard to win
games when you put people on base instead of making the other team
earn it."The Devil Rays were trying for consecutive road wins for the
first time this season and the first time since beating Kansas City
on Sept. 11-12 last year.The loss ended a six-game winning streak for Tampa Bay at Safeco
Field.Villone took over for starter Joel Pineiro with one out in the
seventh. Pineiro had loaded the bases after hitting Jorge Cantu
with a pitch, allowing a single to Travis Lee and issuing an
intentional walk to Toby Hall.Sanchez drove Villone's pitch into the gap in right-center field
scoring Cantu and Lee. Crawford hit the next pitch into center
field, scoring Hall and Sanchez.Crawford and Sanchez each had two hits for the Devil Rays.Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir had his fourth straight solid
start, allowing three runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings of work.
The left-hander has allowed three runs or less in each of his last
four starts and is 2-0 in his last five.Kazmir's only mistake came in the fourth when Ibanez hit his
seventh homer of the season, a two-run shot to right-center.
Seattle's only other hits off Kazmir came from Randy Winn and Rene
Rivera."It's frustrating for us. We played a good game out there and a
couple of things just didn't go our way," Kazmir said.Tampa Bay scored its first run in the third. Green walked to
lead off and scored on Crawford's two-out single past a diving
Boone at second base.Otherwise, Pineiro was solid until the seventh. The right-hander
struck out a season-high seven and appeared on the verge of his
first win since April 26 at Texas. He allowed only two batters to
reach second in the first six innings.Tampa Bay had knocked around Pineiro for a season-high seven
runs on 10 hits last Sunday."That was the best I felt all year, arm wise and pitches
wise," Pineiro said. "Everything was there."Ibanez continued a recent surge with his two hits. In his last
six games, Ibanez is 13-for-23, raising his average from .270 to
.305, and has hit safely in 19 of the last 21 games.
Pineiro had his longest outing since May 8 at Boston when
he pitched seven innings, a 6-3 loss. Pineiro was sent to Triple-A
Tacoma for 10 days after that start to work on his mechanics. ...
Tampa Bay's six-game winning streak in Seattle was its longest ever
at an opponent's park.