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Rays journal: Avoiding a no-hitter a very small consolation

TOUGH BOUNCE: Rays third baseman Daniel Robertson fails to field an infield hit by Danny Valencia in the fourth inning.
Published Jun. 5, 2017

SEATTLE — The Rays obviously didn't put the good finish they were talking about on their extended road trip in losing the finale 7-1 to the Mariners.

But for a while Sunday, it looked like as if it could have been a really bad ending as they were no-hit into the fifth inning by Mariners LHP Ariel Miranda.

But before too many memories of the 2012 perfect game Felix Hernandez threw against them started floating around, speedy CF Kevin Kiermaier knocked the 0 off the scoreboard with a bouncer between the mound and first.

Veteran 3B Evan Longoria acknowledged that their past blanking popped into his mind, but he wasn't too concerned as "the guys weren't really looking too bad" at the plate.

They didn't do much good, though, managing just four hits total and one run, thanks primarily to M's CF Jarrod Dyson losing Daniel Robertson's ball in the sun — and getting conked on the shoulder by it — leading to an eighth-inning triple.

Miranda, a former Cuban leaguer, ended up with a 105-pitch complete game.

RAYS SWEPT BY MARINERS: Sudden slump raises question: Which version of Rays is real?

Erratic Erasmo

RHP Erasmo Ramirez said he felt good getting back into his routine, having made his previous start on Monday after closing Sunday's extra-inning win, and made just one big mistake, on Nelson Cruz's two-run homer in the first.

After that, including the two runs he allowed in the fourth on three hits and a walk, Ramirez said, "Lucky contact, find the holes, infield hits, something you can't fight if they beat the shift and everything. You just have to continue pitching and try to execute every pitch."

Rays rehab show hits Clearwater

Today will be a big day in Clearwater as C Wilson Ramos (right knee) and RHP Brad Boxberger (flexor) will play their first rehab games, and OF Peter Bourjos (tennis elbow) his second, for the advanced Class A Stone Crabs in the 5 p.m. first game of a doubleheader at Spectrum Field.

Longoria's pain in the neck

Evan Longoria took a DH day Sunday to alleviate further strain on the neck stiffness that forced him to leave the previous two games, and he expects to be good to go by Tuesday. Longoria said he had some issues during spring training from sleeping that he was able to manage with treatment and that eventually went totally away. But he felt it again during the last game in Texas, then again in his second at-bat Friday. "I didn't expect it to come back, but I took a swing and I felt it," he said. "But we've treated it before and we know how to handle it, so that's a positive."

TOPKIN'S TAKEAWAYS: Beat writer Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Ray-Mariners game.

Number of the day

28-7 Composite score in the weekend sweep by the Mariners

Quote of the day

"The teams that are successful are gassed and can still get the job done."

RHP Chris Archer, after manager Kevin Cash said some of the starters might be "gassed a little bit."

LoMo milestone

1B Logan Morrison downplayed reaching the 100 home run milestone in Saturday's 9-2 loss. "Way too overdue," he said. "I got my 100th the same time Nelson Cruz got his 100th (with Seattle), took him 2½ years, took me 7½. It'd be cool if it was 500 or 600." When it was pointed out that Albert Pujols got his 600th on Saturday, Morrison said, "So I just have to average 50 a year for the next 10 years."

A moment to pause

Sunday marked three years since the passing of Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer.

Some names we didn't expect to be typing

With Jake Odorizzi allowing eight runs Friday and Alex Cobb nine on Saturday, it was the first time Rays starters allowed eight-plus in back-to-back games since Paul Wilson and Ryan Rupe did so in August 2001. And when the Mariners' Taylor Motter hit a grand slam on Friday and Mike Zunino on Saturday, it was the first time the Rays allowed bases-loaded blasts in consecutive games since April 2005 at Boston, when David Oritz hit one off Hideo Nomo and Manny Ramirez another off Dewon Brazelton.

Miscellany

. C Derek Norris felt better Sunday after having to be helped off the field Saturday due to back spasms and is expected to be available Tuesday.

. When Mariners 1B Danny Valencia popped out in the sixth, it was the first time the Rays retired him during the weekend; he had been 9-for-9.

. After having just one day off in May, the Rays today enjoy the second of five in June.

. The Rays were swept for the second time, also by the Yankees April 10-13.

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