Gilbert, Frazier Lead Mariners Past Error-prone Rays, 8-4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Logan Gilbert pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, Adam Frazier hit a three-run double and the Seattle Mariners won their fourth straight, 8-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
Frazier's double off Josh Fleming (2-2) came during a seven-run fourth inning for the Mariners that was made possible by back-to-back errors from shortstop Wander Franco and first baseman Ji-Man Choi.
“When things like that happen, you try to capitalize on it, and we’ve done a pretty good job of that so far,” Gilbert said. “I think that says a lot about where we are, especially early in the season.”
AL West-leading Seattle has won nine of 11.
“We had the big seven-run inning tonight, took advantage of a couple of errors on their side, but we got big hits, took advantage of a couple guys in scoring position," manager Scott Servais said. “It was good to see. I know we’ve got a lot of momentum going.”
The Rays squandered two chances to get out of the fourth inning unscathed. The game was scoreless when Franco's errant throw on a potential inning-ending double play ball left the bases loaded with one out. Tom Murphy then hit a bouncer to Choi, whose low throw got past catcher Mike Zunino, allowing two runs to score.
“It was not characteristic of us. We came out and made a couple miscues, but that’s part of the game,” Zunino said. “Physical stuff happens. ... Just some unlucky bounces after a couple plays that didn't work out for us, and the game can get out of hand pretty quickly sometimes.”
Doubles by Julio Rodriguez and Frazier and Ty France's two-out single drove in the rest of the runs in the frame.
Fleming allowed seven unearned runs, the most by any pitcher since Philadelphia's Mark Leiter Jr. gave up seven in the fifth inning against the New York Mets on Aug. 16, 2018.
Gilbert (3-0) gave up two hits and three walks while striking out seven and left the game with the Mariners up 8-0. The 24-year-old right-hander has given up one earned run in four starts, and it came in the first inning of his first start.
René Pinto and Franco hit two-run homers for the Rays off reliever Matt Koch in the seventh. Pinto's homer was the first hit of his career while Franco went deep for the fourth time this season.
Mariners: Servais, who had been away from the team for six days after testing positive for COVID-19, rejoined the team just before the game. ... C Luis Torrens was reinstated from the COVID-related injured list without having missed a game.
Rays: Zunino left the game in the fourth inning with a left biceps strain. ... C Francisco Mejia, the only Rays player to test positive so far, missed a fourth game on the COVID-related injured list.
Mariners LHP Marco Gonzales (1-1, 3.29 ERA) will oppose a Rays opener in Wednesday night's second game of the three-game series.