ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays staged a comeback Tuesday night. It came in three stages, almost as if they ran down the Mariners, catching them in the seventh inning on a big swing from Evan Longoria and an opposite-field single by Corey Dickerson.
The result was an 8-7 victory against the Mariners in front of 11,455 at Tropicana Field.
"We haven't had many like that," manager Kevin Cash said.
The Rays trailed 4-0 in the second inning, 5-2 in the third inning, 5-4 after four innings and 7-4 after six.
"To come back early in the game and be a run away and they put up some more runs, when that happens it's pretty hard to come back," Dickerson said. "We put together good at-bats. We never gave up. We kept battling."
The first was by Dickerson, a two-run blast off the D-ring catwalk over the rightfield stands in the second inning that trimmed Seattle's lead to 4-2.
The second came from Steve Peace in the fourth inning that cut the Mariners' lead to 5-3.
The last game in the seventh when Longoria drove the first pitch he saw from right-hander Nick Vincent into the left-centerfield seats with two on to tie the score at 7.
All that was needed for their eighth win in their last 10 games was a pair of walks from former Rays prospect Mike Montgomery and Dickerson's single — his third hit of a night in which he fell a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
It was the second time this season the Rays overcame a four-run deficit. They improved to 4-22 when trailing after six innings.
The Rays overcame a tough start by Jake Odorizzi (five runs in 52/3 innings) and leaky job by Dana Eveland (two runs in two-thirds of an inning) to inch within two games of .500 at 30-32. Odorizzi was ejected in the sixth when he argued after Leonys Martin walked on a close pitch.
Ryan Garton pitched two-thirds of an inning to earn his first big-league win. Xavier Cedeno pitched a perfect eighth for his 13th hold of the season, and Alex Colome remained perfect in 19 save opportunities when he erased a one-out walk in the ninth inning with a game-ending double play.
"Really happy with the way the guys responded, performed, all of the above," Cash said.
Dickerson's home run was a big moment, because it helped answer the four runs the Mariners had scored in the top of the inning.
"He comes up and hits a two-run homer to cut the deficit in half, that's huge," Cash said. "That gives kind of you that thought, 'Okay, we're still in this.' You go three-up, three-down that inning, 4-0 ball game, it's a little tough to overcome that."
Dickerson said he want to shorten his swing and just make contact. The ball sailed 448 feet, according to ESPN's StatCast.
Cash said the biggest hit of the night belonged to Longoria, who now has 10 hits in his past 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
Longoria has seven home runs over his past 10 games and 20 RBIs in his past 15 games.
"He's been a lot better than pretty good, he's been outstanding in every moment, whether it's on defense," Cash said. "Late in the ballgame, early in the ballgame, his at-bats have been tremendous. He's getting big hits for us."