Mariners hold off Rays 4-3 for 16th win in 20 games - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Mariners hold off Rays 4-3 for 16th win in 20 games

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura, left, tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Joey Wendle attempting to steal second base during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura, left, tags out Tampa Bay Rays' Joey Wendle attempting to steal second base during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Edwin Diaz, right, shakes hands with catcher Mike Zunino after closing out the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Mariner... (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Edwin Diaz, right, shakes hands with catcher Mike Zunino after closing out the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Mariner...
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Wilmer Font, right, hands the ball to manager Kevin Cash as he is taken out of the game against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Wilmer Font, right, hands the ball to manager Kevin Cash as he is taken out of the game against the Seattle Mariners during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla.
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners' Jean Segura steals second base as Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Christian Arroyo is late with the tag during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara). Seattle Mariners' Jean Segura steals second base as Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Christian Arroyo is late with the tag during the third inning of a baseball game Friday, June 8, 2018, in St. Petersburg, Fla.

By DICK SCANLON
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - The Seattle Mariners got another big start from Marco Gonzales and needed a big play from catcher Mike Zunino to keep up their winning stretch.

Marco Gonzales won his fourth straight start and the surging Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Friday night for their 16th win in 20 games.

Zunino threw out Joey Wendle at second base on a stolen-base attempt for the final out of the Mariners' 20th one-run victory of the season.

"We might as well make it close, right?" Zunino said. "It's just sort of how we're built."

After cruising to a 4-1 lead behind Gonzales until the eighth inning, the Mariners had to hold on.

"We find a way to get it to one run," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "I wish we had a little more ability to stretch, but it happens. We'll take it."

Gonzales (7-3) left the game after taking a throw at first base too late to retire a sliding Mallex Smith in the eighth.

"I was trying to avoid the helmet. I didn't want to step on that that, snap my ankle," he said. "I was just thankful I didn't get hurt."

The left-hander gave up two runs and five hits in 7 1/3 innings, the longest start of his career. Gonzales is 4-0 with a 0.81 earned run average over his last five starts.

Christian Arroyo had a solo homer in the fifth and C.J. Cron added a two-run shot in the eighth off former teammate Alex Colome to pull the Rays within a run.

However, Edwin Diaz got the final four outs for his 22nd save in 25 opportunities, finishing the Mariners' 20th one-run win of the season and sending the Rays to their eighth straight loss.

"We know it will flip around," Arroyo said. "We made a comeback tonight, made a comeback last night. We're that one hit away."

Singles by Guillermo Heredia and Daniel Vogelbach helped the Mariners take a 2-0 lead in the third inning off Rays starter Wilmer Font.

Mitch Haniger drove in one of the Mariners' two runs off Rays reliever Matt Andriese with a single in the fifth, pushing Seattle's lead to 4-0. It was Haniger's 47th RBI of the season, tying a career high.

Arroyo's first home run got the Rays on the board and Cron got them within one with his 14th.

Font (0-3) gave up two runs and two hits while striking out five in 2 1/3 innings in his first major league start. He became the 13th pitcher to start a game for the Rays this season.

An error on third baseman Kyle Seager - Seattle's first error in 16 games - gave the Rays a scoring opportunity in the third, but Gonzales struck out Matt Duffy with the bases loaded to end it.

Mariners first-base coach Chris Prieto was ejected by hime-plate umpire David Rackley in the middle of the ninth inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHP Juan Nicasio was placed on the 10-day disabled list with swelling in his right knee. ... RHP Dan Altavilla was also placed on the 10-day DL and returned to Seattle to have doctors check the tightness in his right forearm. ... RHP Nick Vincent (strained right groin) will pitch one inning in a rehab assignment this weekend.

Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) is scheduled for a bullpen session Saturday and will face hitters Tuesday. ... CF Kevin Kiermaier (torn ligament in his right thumb) is lined up to start a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Charlotte. ... SS Adeiny Hechavarria (right hamstring strain) could join Charlotte on Monday.

ADDED ATTRACTION

Fans watching batting practice got a treat when Ichiro Suzuki hit in the Mariners' last batting practice group. The 44-year old special assistant to the chairman, who started the season as a player before the team moved him into the front office position, sent around a dozen balls into the right-field seats. Suzuki had 3,089 hits over 18 years in the majors.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (6-4) will make his 18th career start against Tampa Bay. He is 9-2 against the Rays including his perfect game on Aug. 15, 2012.

Rays: LHP Blake Snell (7-3) is coming off a start last Sunday in Seattle where he struck out 12 over six scoreless innings.

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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