Safeco Field Seattle

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners Pick & Prediction MAY 8TH 2022

TV: Bally Sports Network | RSN | Root Sports
Logo Tampa Bay Rays
Logo Seattle Mariners

7.5o -115
-1.5 +184



After being swept in a four-game series in Seattle last season, the Tampa Bay Rays and their resurgent offense will look to return the favor to the host Mariners on Sunday.

The Rays earned their season-high sixth straight victory Saturday night in an 8-2 rout of the Mariners, who have dropped six consecutive games.

As the Rays' seven-game trip started, manager Kevin Cash changed the order by moving right-handed hitter Yandy Diaz into the leadoff spot and No. 1 hitter Brandon Lowe -- a lefty swinger --- into the cleanup role.

In the revamped lineup, Diaz has gone going 7-for-25 with a homer, double, five runs and three RBIs. Lowe, who batted fifth Saturday, has at least one hit in every game (6-for-15) on the trip with two homers, a double, five runs and three RBIs.

In a six-game hitting streak, Lowe is hitting .368, while Manuel Margot has batted .440 with five extra-base hits and 12 RBIs in a seven-game hitting streak.

Margot's first career grand slam Saturday came on the heels of a three-run shot to win Friday's game.

"I've never really had that many opportunities to hit a grand slam, and that time I did," Margot said.

Ryan Yarbrough (0-0, 19.29 ERA) will make his second start after working through a groin injury early in the season. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in one career start against the Mariners, on Aug. 11, 2019.

In that one, the left-hander was pulled by Cash after allowing just three hits in 8 2/3 scoreless innings. The Rays won 1-0.

Before Saturday's game, the Rays demoted struggling left-hander Josh Fleming (2-3, 6.38).

The main effect of sending him down will be opening up a starter or bulk-innings role for lefty Jeffrey Springs (1-0, 0.69), who has allowed one run on seven hits in 13 innings across nine outings.

In Anaheim on Monday, Springs is expected to pitch in an extended role in the Rays' series opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

Mariners manager Scott Servais will look for his club, which is 1-10 in its past 11 games, to get a boost from pitcher George Kirby in his first start in the majors on Sunday.

Kirby, 24, is a 2019 first-round pick (20th overall) out of Elon University and is the No. 11 prospect, according to Baseball America.

In five games for the Double-A Arkansas this season, Kirby is 2-0 with a 1.82 ERA. He has struck out 32 in 24 2/3 innings.

He is essentially taking the place of Matt Brash, who was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma.

"I told him today I'm not looking for eight innings out of him tomorrow," Servais said Saturday. "Keep us in the ballgame, even if it goes a little bit rough early on; keep filling up the strike zone and take your chances."

Kirby has a 97 mph fastball and pinpoint control, but Servais said the right-hander will need more than just heat in his major-league debut.

"He's got a really good fastball," Servais said. "But the velocity in our league, it really doesn't scare people off. You have to have the secondary weapons, and he's really focused on that."

--Field Level Media

Tampa Bay Rays
Seattle Mariners

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Seattle Mariners

Ryan Yarbrough pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings as the Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep of the host Seattle Mariners with a 1-0 victory Sunday afternoon.

Eric Sogard hit a solo homer off Mariners left-hander Wade LeBlanc (6-6) with one out in the fourth inning to account for the lone run as the Rays won for the 12th time in their past 15 games to remain in control of the American League's second and final wild-card playoff berth. It was Sogard's 13th home run of the season.

Tampa Bay outscored Seattle 11-7 in a competitive the series despite the sweep. The last two games were decided by one run.

Yarbrough (11-3), who was selected by the Mariners in the fourth round of the 2014 MLB draft out of Old Dominion and traded to Tampa Bay on Jan. 11, 2017, scattered three hits. He didn't walk a batter and struck out a season-high eight in what was nearly the first complete game of his career.

Despite Yarbrough getting the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth to ground out, Rays manager Kevin Cash summoned right-hander Emilio Pagan to get the final out. Pagan needed only one pitch to earn his 12th save of the season, getting pinch-hitter Omar Narvaez to ground out to second.

The Mariners never got a runner into scoring position.

Seattle's Dee Gordon reached on a bunt single with two outs in the second inning but was thrown out trying to steal second by Rays catcher Mike Zunino.

Kyle Seager singled with two outs in the fourth before Yarbrough got Austin Nola to ground out to third.

The Mariners' Tom Murphy led off the fifth inning with a line drive single to left but was stranded there as Gordon popped out to third baseman Michael Brosseau and Yarbrough struck out Tim Lopes and Dylan Moore to end the inning.

Mariners right-hander Sam Tuivailala pitched a scoreless first as the opener before turning the ball over to LeBlanc, who has lost his past three decisions.

LeBlanc went six innings, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts.

Seattle lost for the eighth time in its past nine games after matching a season-high with a six-game winning streak.

--Field Level Media

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