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Jun 26, 2024 3:15 am

Streaking Rays aim for sweep of Mariners

Yandy Diaz

As the Tampa Bay Rays continue to try to mount a push for a sixth consecutive playoff appearance, their offense is peaking at the right time.

Manager Kevin Cash’s club will look to sweep Seattle when the Rays host the Mariners in the series finale Wednesday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

On Tuesday, the Rays finally reached .500 for the first time since June 7 — thanks to an 11-3 throttling of the Mariners, who hold first place in the American League West.

Tampa Bay has won the first two games in the three-game set and is 12-5 against Seattle in the past 17 games.

For the second straight night, the Rays’ offense produced 11 hits, and the 11 runs were a high mark this year.

Four Rays who walked scored as the club took advantage of wildness. Ben Rortvedt had four RBIs, and Isaac Paredes hit a two-run homer.

“Just really good at-bats from top to bottom,” said shortstop Taylor Walls, who went 3-for-4 with a two-run triple. “We had a good plan. … Control the zone. We knew their (bullpen) was light.”

Tampa Bay also was 3-for-3 in stolen bases and set a season high with a seventh straight error-free game.

Yandy Diaz continued his streaking — 18 games with a hit, 27 reaching base and seven with an RBI. He can tie Jason Bartlett’s team record of 19 straight games with a hit Wednesday, a record the shortstop set in 2009.

The Rays have won seven of their past nine games.

Tampa Bay made one transaction, recalling pitcher Edwin Uceta and designating fellow right-hander Chris Devenski for assignment.

Despite holding a 4.5-game lead over the second-place Houston Astros, the Mariners have had a rough eight games on their nine-game trip – a 2-6 record and losses in six of the past seven.

On Tuesday, the Mariners placed right-handed starter Bryan Woo on the 15-day injured list (strained right hamstring), creating a significant hole in the rotation. He left Monday’s game in the fourth inning.

Woo is 3-1 with a 1.77 ERA in eight starts.

“No definite timeline,” manager Scott Servais said before Tuesday’s defeat. “The reports from the trainers and medical people were pretty positive in the fact that he can be back pretty quickly.”

Seattle called up right-hander Collin Snider from Triple-A Tacoma for his third stint this season with the big club. In five games (five innings) with the Mariners, the Nashville, Tenn., product has a 3.60 ERA.

Seattle claimed him off waivers from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Feb. 6.

Servais will turn to George Kirby (6-5, 3.47) to salvage a game in the series.

The right-hander has been strong over his past five starts (2-0, 1.74). In 31 innings across those outings, Kirby has allowed just six earned runs and 25 hits, with all three of his no-decisions decided in extra innings.

Kirby is 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three career starts against Tampa Bay.

In his first career appearance against the Mariners, right-hander Ryan Pepiot (4-4, 4.61) will try to get the Rays the sweep.

–Field Level Media

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