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Rays-Mariners preview

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Tonight-Sunday

What's new: Though the Mariners are playing out another lost season, they have some pieces to make things challenging for contenders. There's starter Hisashi Iwakuma — the Rays will miss Felix Hernandez — a bullpen that leads the majors in strikeouts per nine innings and home run power; Raul Ibanez has 26, Kyle Seager 22 and Kendrys Morales 18. Rookie middle infielders Nick Franklin and Brad Miller, both from the Orlando area, have been impressive. INF/OF Michael Morse was traded to Baltimore.

Key stat: The Mariners have hit a majors-most 26 homers in the first inning and an AL-most 19 in the ninth inning or later.

Connections: Rays coach Jamie Nelson played 40 games for the Mariners in 1983.

Series history: Rays lead 2-1 this season; Mariners lead 74-64 overall, 34-32 in Seattle.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays-Mariners preview 09/05/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 5, 2013 10:33pm]
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    JACKSONVILLE — Bucs receiver Mike Evans had an efficient half of football Thursday night, with six ball thrown his way and five catches for 57 yards in Tampa Bay's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars.

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  5. Rays morning after: There (really) are still reasons to be optimistic

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