After a stretch of 16 games in a row, the Mariners embraced an off-day Thursday in Tampa prior to opening a four-game set with the Rays. Apparently the rest did them more harm than good.
Seattle (31-29) looked listless Friday in a 4-0 loss to Tampa and former teammate Erik Bedard. The shutout snapped a pair of streaks — five wins for the Mariners and 10 losses for the Rays.
It looked bad from the start, the Mariners failing to get a baserunner until the third, while their own starter, Chris Young, played with fire every inning.
Young escaped bases-loaded jams in the second and third innings before the Rays made him pay with runs in the fourth and fifth innings for a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth, Jose Molina, a backup catcher who was hitting sub-.150 without an RBI since September, delivered a sacrifice fly to score Kevin Kiermaier.
In the fifth, Tampa Bay opened with back-to-back singles from Evan Longoria and James Loney, an RBI bunt single from Desmond Jennings and an RBI single from Yunel Escobar. In the eighth against M’s reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, Escobar scored on a wild pitch.
Tampa Bay left 15 runners on base, but run production was more than enough as the Mariners threatened in just two innings, going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Bedard, using a Louis Tiant-like turn in his delivery, kept Seattle chasing pitches out of the zone over six scoreless frames. Bedard (3-4, 3.61 ERA) allowed four hits, walked one and struck out eight.
Cole Gillespie, batting eighth and playing left field against the left-handed Bedard, led the Seattle offense, going 2-for-3 with a double.
It was a rough outing for Young, who looked uncomfortable. Young (5-3, 3.42 ERA) lasted five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and five walks. He struck out three.
Leading Tampa Bay (24-38) were Longoria and Loney, each with two hits.
OF Michael Saunders left Friday’s game in the bottom of the fourth inning with a shoulder impingement and is day-to-day . . . LHP James Paxton (shoulder inflammation), who hasn’t thrown since a rehab outing with AAA Tacoma on May 24, could resume throwing Monday . . . The starter for Monday’s day game against Tampa Bay is not set. It is unlikely to Erasmo Ramirez, who started Tuesday in Atlanta, or RHP Taijuan Walker, who made a second rehab start Tuesday in El Paso. Walker likely will make a third rehab start Monday in Memphis. The M’s could call up RHP Matt Palmer from AAA Tacoma, which would require 40-man and 25-man roster moves. Palmer pitched Thursday night for Tacoma on a 55-pitch limit.
Say it ain’t so Joe