ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays are hitting the road knowing their homestand could have been a lot better.
Blake Beavan scattered four hits over eight innings and the Seattle Mariners beat the Rays 2-1 on Sunday. Tampa Bay finished 4-6 on its longest homestand of the season.
“It’s a difficult moment because we really did not take advantage of some pretty good opportunities over the last couple days,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “When you get that kind of pitching, you don’t want to lose. So we have to figure out a way to get beyond that.”
Matt Moore (6-7) gave up two runs, five hits and struck out seven in eight innings for the Rays. The left-hander retired his final 17 batters.
Jesus Montero and Brendan Ryan each had an RBI double for the Mariners, who took two of three from the Rays to finish a 5-2 road trip.
Beavan (5-6) struck out five and walked none, outpitching Moore in a tight duel. Tom Wilhelmsen worked a scoreless ninth for his 10th save, completing the five-hitter.
Matt Joyce hit a two-out double off Wilhelmsen, who then walked Jeff Keppinger. Pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui, mired in an 0-for-16 skid, ended the game on a first-pitch popup to shortstop.
“I know he’s been struggling, but at any moment he could pop up and bite you the good way,” Maddon said. “That was the right spot for him to hit right there. It did not work out.”
Seattle took a 2-1 lead on Ryan’s second-inning double.
Desmond Jennings reached leading off the eighth when Ryan misplayed his grounder at shortstop and went to second on Jose Molina’s grounder. After advancing to third on a grounder by Elliot Johnson, Jennings was left stranded when Beavan got a pop fly from B.J. Upton.
Casper Wells started the first with a double, but was thrown out at third on Ichiro Suzuki’s bunt. Suzuki then stole second and third before scoring on Montero’s double to put the Mariners ahead 1-0.
“This homestand was obviously a letdown for us, so we’re looking to do bigger and better things on the road,” Moore said.
Tampa Bay tied it in the bottom half when Ben Zobrist hit a two-out double that deflected off first base and Joyce followed with an RBI single.
“The offense has been challenged lately,” Maddon said. “We just have to figure out how to score more runs.”
Suzuki took away an extra-base hit from Carlos Pena with a leaping catch at the right-field wall for the second out in the first.
NOTES: Rays 3B Evan Longoria, out since May 1 with a partially torn left hamstring, is increasing his on-field work. He took batting practice, fielded grounders and ran in the outfield. … Tampa Bay recalled RHP Brandon Gomes from Triple-A Durham and then optioned him back to the International League club after the game. … Tampa Bay LHP Cesar Ramos was optioned to Durham after throwing four scoreless innings in Saturday night’s 2-1 loss to Seattle. … Rays OF Sam Fuld, out all season after right wrist surgery, could join the team Tuesday. …. Tampa Bay pitchers set a team record for the most strikeouts in a three-game series with 40.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.