American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, July 21st (All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (40-55) at Tampa Bay Rays (49-45), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Jason Vargas (9-7, 4.09) Tampa Bay - Alex Cobb (4-6, 4.92)
(Sports Network) - After a thrilling end to Friday night's game, the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays will get right back to work on Saturday at Tropicana Field.
It took them 14 innings to do it, but the Rays finally prevailed late to come away with a 4-3 win on Friday in the first of three straight meetings.
After a Carlos Peguero two-run home run put the Mariners up 3-2 in the top of the seventh, the Rays answered in the bottom of the inning with a B.J. Upton RBI single.
Six scoreless innings passed before Carlos Pena recorded a one-out single in the bottom of the 14th inning and Ben Zobrist doubled him in for the walk-off win.
"It's kind of a relief when you win a game like that," Zobrist said.
James Shields started the game and pitched very well, striking out 10 in 7 2/3 innings while allowing four hits, two walks and three earned runs in the no- decision. Jake McGee (3-2) pitched two-thirds of an inning in the 14th to earn the win.
Hisashi Iwakuma was equally impressive for the Mariners, pitching seven innings and allowing six hits, one walk and two earned runs while punching out seven. Tom Wilhelmsen (3-2) pitched a scoreless 13th inning, but came out for the 14th and gave up the winning run.
"We just weren't able to get anything going offensively in extra innings," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "Our pitching staff did a great job."
Zobrist finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base, while Upton went 2-for-6 with a homer, two RBI, and a steal as well.
Jason Vargas will toe the rubber for the Mariners Saturday night and has gone 9-7 with a 4.09 ERA in 20 starts this season.
After losing three straight starts in mid-June, the left-hander has been much better of late. In three July starts, Vargas is 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA. His last start wasn't pretty - allowing seven hits, three walks and three earned runs in six innings pitched against Kansas City on July 16 - but it was enough to earn the 9-4 win.
Vargas has not had much success at Tropicana Field, going 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in three career games.
The Rays will respond with Alex Cobb, who's had plenty of ups and downs in his 10 starts since his call-up. After winning his first two starts of the season, the 24-year-old right-hander has lost six of his last eight starts, dropping his record to 4-6 on the year.
Cobb had his shortest outing of the year in his last start, going just 3 1/3 innings while allowing five hits, five walks, and three runs (two earned) in a 3-2 loss to Cleveland on July 16.
Tampa has won the last nine in this series, including 12 of 13 from the Mariners at home.
07/21 10:31:48 ET