Seattle Mariners (62-61 SU, 56-67 RL, 59-59-5 O/U) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (60-64 SU, 61-63 RL, 61-60-3 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, August 19, 2017 at 6:10 p.m. EST
The Line: Tampa Bay Rays -115/Seattle Mariners -105. Total: 9.
The at Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners will continue a three-game series when they meet again at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay on Saturday evening. Seattle took the opener on Friday to extend its winning streak to three. The Rays are now 1-7 in their last eight contests.
Cruz is cruise control
Nelson Cruz looks to follow up another big night and extend his hitting streak to 11 games as the Mariners aim for a fourth consecutive victory. Cruz launched the longest home run in Tropicana Field history with a 482-foot blast as Seattle rolled over the Rays 7-1 on Friday night. The veteran slugger boasts 16 hits, including six homers, and 14 RBIs during his 10-game streak and reached 30 blasts for the fourth straight season–fifth overall–as Seattle moved within one-half game of the American League’s second wild-card.
Left-hander Ariel Miranda (7-6, 4.75 ERA) hopes to duplicate his performance against Tampa Bay on June 4, when he pitched his first career complete game in a victory. Miranda is winless in his last seven starts, losing for the second time in that stretch this past Sunday (four runs allowed in 4.2 innings against the Angels). The 28-year-old Cuban completed six innings just once in his last seven outings after accomplishing the feat eight of his first 17 starts in 2017.
Bats are silent
The Rays continue to struggle with the bats as they lost for the 11th time in 14 games Friday, scoring just 24 runs total during that stretch while going 8-for-82 with runners in scoring position. The good news for Tampa Bay was that center fielder Kevin Kiermaier returned to the lineup after missing more than two months with a hip injury, recording a double and scoring the lone run.
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 4.30 ERA) will oppose Miranda on Saturday. Odorizzi was pounded for eight runs (three earned) over 2.1 innings by the Mariners on June 2. He battled to get through six innings on Monday while allowing two runs on three hits and three walks but lost for the second straight time since returning from the disabled list. The 27-year-old Illinois native threw at least 110 pitches for the fifth time this season in his last start and did not complete seven innings in any of those. Seattle’s Danny Valencia is 3-for-10 with two homers against Odorizzi, who is 1-2 with a 3.20 ERA in five career games against Seattle.
The Seattle Mariners are:
- 6-0 in their last six road games
- 13-4 in their last 17 games against teams with losing records
- 5-2 in Miranda’s last seven road starts
The Tampa Bay Rays are:
- 1-7 in their last eight overall
- 0-4 in their last four home games
- 1-4 in Odorizzi’s last five starts
Tampa Bay outfielder Corey Dickerson is batting .211 since playing in the All-Star Game after he hit .312 in the first half. Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager returned from missing two games with a stomach virus on Friday and became the 10th player in club history to reach 500 RBIs. The Rays are 6-0 on their last six on the road, 13-4 in their last 17 against losing opponents, and 5-2 in Miranda’s last seven road starts. Tampa Bay is 1-7 in its last eight overall, 0-4 in its last four at home, and 1-4 in Odorizzi’s last five starts. Look for those trends to continue.