ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays were able to withstand the pressure from Felix Hernandez and Chris Archer and the bullpen held the Seattle Mariners off the board for eight innings. However, the Tampa Bay offense could not get going, and Seattle scores five runs with two out in the ninth off Grant Balfour, giving Seattle a 5-0 win over Tampa Bay Sunday.
Both starters were on their game Sunday. Archer worked in to the seventh inning, allowing just five hits and a walk while striking out three. Meanwhile, Hernandez set a new career-high in strikeouts with 15 as he went seven full innings, giving up just four hits and a walk.
Both sides had opportunities to try and grab a lead early. Seattle left a runner in scoring position in the third, seventh and eighth innings, and stranded the bases loaded in the fifth. Tampa Bay had runners in scoring position in the first, third, fourth, and seventh innings, but could not bring any of them in.
The stalemate finally came to an end with two outs in the ninth, when Brad Miller's triple off Balfour on an 0-2 count got Seattle's rally going. Willie Bloomquist then walked, and Endy Chavez reached out and poked a Balfour slider into left field to break the scoreless tie.
James Jones then tripled over Kevin Kiermaier's head to bring in two more runs, and after walking Robinson Cano, Balfour allowed another extra-base hit, this time to Kyle Seager, doubling in Jones and Cano to make it 5-0.
Dominic Leone and Charlie Furbush would finish the game.
Tampa Bay will look to salvage a split Monday in the finale of this four-game series, when David Price (4-5, 4.03 ERA) takes on Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 6.82 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 1:10, with coverage on WDAE starting at noon with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.