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MLB Baseball

7
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Seattle0 0 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 7100
Tampa Bay1 0 1 0 0 3 0 0 1 690
6
  W: A. Miranda (8-6)   L: J. Odorizzi (6-7)   S: E. Díaz (27)
3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, August 19, 2017
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 12,218

Rays look to get offense going against Mariners

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash cannot point to anything different in his team's hitting approach, but the results have been crushing, with a single run again in Friday's 7-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay's 11th loss in 14 games.

"We're just missing pitches that we should hit," Cash said after his team had only four hits, continuing a slump from their last home stand that now includes nine runs scored in their last 10 home games.

As the Rays continue a three-game series against Seattle on Saturday, they'll again count on strong solid pitching from righty Jake Odorizzi. The Rays have one of the best staff ERAs in baseball in August, but little to show for it in the standings.

"You wouldn't accept playing .500 baseball. We've made that very clear," Cash said of his team's pitching success going for naught. "Pitching has been outstanding for us. We're right there at the tops in baseball from the All-Star break. You would not accept playing .500 baseball, and we're not even close. ... That's where the frustration kicks in. We're spoiling some tremendous outings from our pitchers."

Odorizzi had a quality start in his last outing -- six innings, three hits and two runs, but took the loss against Toronto. For the season, he's 6-6 with a 4.30 ERA, though he's fared better in his career against Seattle, going 1-2 with a 3.20 ERA in five career starts. His last outing wasn't so good -- only 2 1/3 innings, his shortest non-injury start in five years, giving up five unearned runs against Seattle in June.

The Mariners -- with much hotter bats on their sides, coming off back-to-back seven-run wins -- will counter with left-hander Ariel Miranda, who is 7-6 with a 4.75 ERA. He's making his second career start against the Rays -- on June 4, he threw a complete-game four-hitter against Tampa Bay, striking out nine while walking only one.

Seattle's bats are at the opposite end of the spectrum, producing enough offense to make a quality start unnecessary. Nelson Cruz alone had a 482-foot home run and two doubles in Friday's win -- his eight total bases were more than the six the Rays totaled in the entire game.

Seattle is staying in close contention for a wild-card spot despite hovering close to .500, but the Rays are starting to fall short of that, falling with Friday's loss to four games under .500 for the first time this season.

Even in opening a daunting 12-game road trip, their longest since 2010, the Mariners have momentum in their favor and will need it over the next two weeks.

"Everybody's chipping in and that's what it's going to take on this road trip," manager Scott Servais said after Friday's win. "We're off to a great start, and that's what we needed tonight."

Updated August 19, 2017

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