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Rays fall short at the end, lose to Mariners in 10 innings

An eighth-inning homer by Manuel Margot looked to be enough, but Andrew Kittredge and Matt Wisler let them down.
The Rays' Manuel Margot, right, is greeted by third base coach Rodney Linares after hitting a solo home run against the Mariners during the eighth inning Sunday afternoon.
The Rays' Manuel Margot, right, is greeted by third base coach Rodney Linares after hitting a solo home run against the Mariners during the eighth inning Sunday afternoon. [ JOHN FROSCHAUER | Associated Press ]
Published May 8|Updated May 9

SEATTLE — The Rays said what you would expect after Sunday’s 2-1, 10-inning walkoff loss to the Mariners. That the outcome stung and it stunk, that it was disappointing and certainly frustrating, with a few other choice words.

Also that it wasn’t the crushing blow that some of these losses can be.

At least not given the context of how well they have been playing, winning six in a row and 13 of their previous 17.

The Rays got an encouraging start from Ryan Yarbrough, took the lead in the eighth on another big Manuel Margot hit, then gave up a solo homer in the ninth and losing on a bunt and a single in the 10th.

“That’s just a good baseball game — 0-0 in the eighth, and then we take the lead,” said reliever Andrew Kittredge, who allowed the tying homer. “And then, credit to them, they battled back, too.

“I think the way we’re playing right now, there’s no reason to believe that we’re not going to continue to play well. A loss like this stings. But at the same time, just the way we’re playing, I don’t think that’s a step in the wrong direction necessarily.”

The loss did stop the Rays’ season-high win streak at six, kept them from sweeping the Mariners, dropped them to 18-11 and proved they aren’t invincible in their navy jerseys (they were 5-0).

The Mariners' Dylan Moore, left, is forced out at second as Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe makes a throw to attempt a double play but fails during the eighth inning.
The Mariners' Dylan Moore, left, is forced out at second as Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe makes a throw to attempt a double play but fails during the eighth inning. [ JOHN FROSCHAUER | Associated Press ]

And it was, as manager Kevin Cash acknowledged, “a tough one.”

Margot’s homer to lead off the eighth inning continued his stellar May (13-for-24, .464, with 13 RBIs), the third time in five days he knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth or later, fourth for the season and ninth in his career. He also homered in a third straight game for the first time.

Kittredge worked out of a jam in the eighth. Feeling good about his stuff, he got the first out of the ninth before hanging a slider that Abraham Toro knocked over the rightfield fence, then screamed into his glove.

“There’s frustration,” he said. “When you’re trying to finish up a ballgame there and then to have it go that way is frustrating. … When you feel good, it’s a little tougher to swallow. But at the same time, I’ll take that stuff any day of the week to go out there and hopefully just not hang that one pitch.”

The Rays failed to score in the top of the 10th, with Yandy Diaz taking a tough third strike. The Mariners then pressed the advantage of having a runner on second and just needing one against Matt Wisler, bunting Jarred Kelenic to third.

Cash had Wisler intentionally walk Adam Frazier, a lefty with a high contact rate, to face Ty France, a righty whose sizzling bat had cooled a tad, hoping Wisler could get a strikeout or a ground ball. Instead France laced a single to left to score the winner.

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“I didn’t execute well enough,” Wisler said. “In that situation, there’s really two options you can do and (I) didn’t.”

The Mariners' Julio Rodriguez, left, and Luis Torrens go to douse starting pitcher George Kirby as he is interviewed after the win. Kirby made his MLB pitching debut Sunday.
The Mariners' Julio Rodriguez, left, and Luis Torrens go to douse starting pitcher George Kirby as he is interviewed after the win. Kirby made his MLB pitching debut Sunday. [ JOHN FROSCHAUER | Associated Press ]

The Rays had been held down through six innings by George Kirby, the Mariners’ 24-year-old top pitching prospect who was called up from Double-A to debut. He was impressive, allowing just four singles (and one runner to second base) while striking out seven.

“What a day for him,” Cash said. “I’m guessing his mom’s pretty happy.”

Despite the unhappy ending, the Rays had reason to be pleased with how Yarbrough, after a rough season debut last week after an injured list stint, performed. He allowed four singles and a walk.

“Yarbs was really encouraging,” Cash said. “That was a highlight of our day for him to get through five, be efficient. And we just came up short.”

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