SEATTLE -- With Seattle's veterans doing very little over the last three weeks, the rookies ended up carrying Mariners to their second win in the last 20 games.
Three rookies to be exact.
Michael Pineda gave up just one hit and struck out a career-high 10, Dustin Ackley homered, doubled and scored twice, and Mike Carp provided the go-ahead RBI single in the Mariners' 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
Pineda didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning when Ben Zobrist's RBI single brought the Rays even at 2-all. Ackley and Carp then answered in the bottom of the inning to give Pineda just his second win in his last seven starts.
"With the young kids you're trying to build with, you're trying to answer questions about, they are the key as you move forward," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "We've got quite a few up here and we've got more coming."
A couple more will arrive on Sunday when newly acquired outfielder Casper Wells and left-handed pitcher Charlie Furbush join the Mariners. The pair, along with third-base prospect Francisco Rodriguez and a player to be named, were traded from Detroit to Seattle in exchange for right-handed starter Doug Fister and right-handed reliever David Pauley on Saturday morning.
Pineda carried most of the load, throwing 6 1/3 inning, before turning it over to reliever Jeff Gray. Rarely used earlier in the season, Gray continued a strong second half by pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He escaped a jam in the seventh after Pineda walked a pair of batters and was pulled following his 110th pitch. Gray then worked a perfect eight before Brandon League pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.
It was Seattle's first home win since July 3, although the Mariners have spent most of the month on the road.
Tampa Bay starter Alex Cobb (3-1) also struck out a career-high nine, but suffered his first major league loss.
Cobb had most of Seattle's lineup guessing with the lone exception being Ackley, currently the only batter in Seattle's lineup hitting over .300. Following Ichiro Suzuki's infield single to start the game, Ackley laced his fifth homer of the season on a line into the seats in right-center field.
"I worked myself every at-bat today into a 3-2 count. You know the guy is going to throw something over the plate and not walk you," Ackley said. "He gave me a couple of pitches to hit and found some holes."
Then Ackley helped give Seattle the lead for good in the sixth and make sure Pineda came away with the victory. On the 10th pitch of his at-bat against Cobb, Ackley lined a one-hop double off the wall in right-center, near where he homered earlier in the game.
Before Ackley could even get comfortable at second, he was headed home after Carp's go-ahead single into the right field corner. While the rest of the Mariners have struggled, Carp is hitting .359 since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on July 18.
"Ackley has battled me well for two years now, going back to Double-A and in the fall league," Cobb said. "He must just see me well or something but I've always had a little trouble with him."
Pineda was dominant in the early innings, but his pitch count was at the point where he needed to be removed after giving up consecutive walks to Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce with one out in the seventh.
Of the first nine outs recorded by Pineda, seven were by strikeout. He stunned Rays catcher Robinson Chirinos in the fifth by accidentally throwing an 0-2 pitch over his head and to the backstop, only to freeze Chirinos with a fastball down the middle on the next pitch for his ninth strikeout.
Pineda saw his no-hit bid end in the sixth on Zobrist's single just over the head of second baseman Jack Wilson that scored Sean Rodriguez. Pineda jumped in the air and slammed his hand into his glove as the ball sailed over Wilson's leaping attempt.
"I think, 'he got it, he got it, he got it, oh!'" Pineda said. "It's OK."
Tampa Bay got its first run off Pineda -- unearned -- in the fourth inning after Johnny Damon stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Josh Bard. He scored on Zobrist's groundout.
Still, it was the second-time this season the Rays' have been held to one hit.
"He is the kind of guy that on any given night you could say he has no-hit stuff," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Pineda.
It was the 12th one-hitter in Mariners history. ... Zobrist extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his line drive single in the sixth. ... Seattle expects Wells and Furbush to be in uniform in time for Sunday's series finale. ... Saturday was League's first save since July 4 at Oakland, two days before Seattle's 17-game losing streak began.