Extra Inning Walk-Off Solo HR Does Rays In

posted by Len Martez -

After tying the game up in the ninth against one of the American League's better closers, the Tampa Bay Rays were done in by a lead-off home run in the bottom of the 13th by outfielder Mitch Haniger, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 4-3 win on Friday Night.

Haniger's walk-off home run off pitcher Matt Andriese, the Rays seventh pitcher of the game, ended a game that lasted four hours & 16 minutes.

Sergio Romo got the start for the Rays, faced five batters, walking one & getting four groundball outs.  Reliever Austin Pruitt followed Romo with one out in the second & allowed a single but then got two more groundball outs to end the Mariners threat. 

Tampa Bay had its own threat in the first inning when outfielder Mallex Smith led off the game with an infield single & C.J. Cron laced a single center.  Leake struck out second baseman Joey Wendle for the first out then got a strike em out-throw em out double play when Seattle catcher David Freitas threw out Smith, who was trying to steal third on a pitch that struck out catcher Wilson Ramos.

After Leake got a 1-2-3 third inning, the home team got the first run of the game when with two outs, the Mariners got three straight singles, the last one coming from Nelson Cruz, driving in shortstop Jean Segura.  And one inning later, Seattle got two more runs.  First baseman Ryon Healy drove home outfielder Ben Gamel, who led off the fourth inning with a triple against Pruitt & Healy scored on groundout by Freitas, making the score 3-0.

Leake threw a total of 15 pitches to get through the third & fourth inning.  But the Rays put together their own two out rally together in the fifth & for the second time on this road trip, two of their batters hit back to back home runs.  First, outfielder Carlos Gomez hit his seventh homer of the season over the wall & Johnny Field followed his outfield mate with his sixth home run of the season, cutting the Mariners lead to 3-2.

Tampa Bay stayed within one run because after giving up two runs in the fourth, Pruitt had back to back 1-2-3 innings.  And after getting one out in the seventh, Pruitt gave way to reliever Jonny Venters, who got the last two outs in the inning.

With the bullpen working scoreless innings from the fifth through the eighth, Tampa Bay still trailed by one run in the ninth & were faced with trying to get that run against Mariners closer Edwin Diaz.  Diaz walked Wendle, the lead-off batter & after a strikeout, the Rays second baseman stole second then took third on a wild pitch.  And with one out, Duffy ripped a single to left, tying the score at three. 

After Duffy's single, Tampa Bay executed a hit & run getting Duffy to third when shortstop Daniel Robertson poked a single through the right-side of the infield.  But with the lead run at third with only one out first baseman Brad Miller struck out & Gomez grounded out to second, ending the chance to take the lead.

The two teams will play the second of the three game series on Saturday with the Rays sending Chris Archer (3-3 4.29) to the mound, while the Mariners counter with Marco Gonzales (5-3 3.60).  Coverage begins on 620 WDAE with Steve Carney & The Inside Pitch at 9PM.  First pitch is at 10:10PM.

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