SEATTLE — The Rays talked Sunday morning about battling to put a good finish in their taxing 10-day country-crossing road trip, but they didn't put up much of a fight, losing 7-1 to the Mariners.
The meek effort completed a lost weekend as the Rays were swept in the three-game series by a combined score of 28-7, and it left them boarding the long flight home with a 4-5 showing on the trip to Minnesota, Texas and Seattle and an overall losing record at 29-30.
Their most positive accomplishment Sunday came when speedy Kevin Kiermaier beat out an infield hit in the fifth, ending what at that point looked by how they were swinging to be the reasonable possibility of a no-hitter for Seattle starter Ariel Miranda.
For the day, the Rays managed only four hits and struck out nine times as Miranda, a former Cuban league standout, worked the complete game.
Rays starter Erasmo Ramirez was excited for the chance to pitch against his former Mariners mates, but he didn't show well, failing to get through five innings and allowing four runs on seven hits.
The Mariners got two in the first on a home run by Nelson Cruz. They added two in the fourth when Ramirez loaded the bases on two singles and a two-out walk and former Florida Gators star Mike Zunino struck again, with a two-run single. Then they got three in the sixth off reliever Austin Pruitt, two on a double by Jarrod Dyson past first baseman Rickie Weeks, another on a wild pitch.
Rays shortstop Tim Beckham made a highlights-tape play in the fifth, running and diving to his left and throwing from his knee to nab Robinson Cano at first. Mariners centerfielder Dyson made a blooper reel play in the eighth, losing Daniel Robertson's fly ball and having it conk off his shoulder for a triple.
After making the nearly six-hour flight home to complete the three-city, nine-game, 10-day journey, the Rays are off Monday then open a seven-games-in-six-days homestand against the White Sox and A's, including Saturday's scheduled doubleheader.
Marc Topkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.