June 8, 2018 / 2:22 AM / 4 months ago

Span homers in return to Tampa, Mariners edge Rays

Denard Span hit a home run against his former team in his hometown as the Seattle Mariners defeated the host Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series.

Span’s solo shot to right field with two outs in the top of the third inning gave the Mariners a 4-0 lead. It was Span’s sixth home run of the season and his second in as many days, after also connecting Wednesday at Houston.

Mitch Haniger also homered and Mike Leake (6-3) pitched eight-plus innings for the Mariners, who swept a three-game series from the Rays last weekend in Seattle.

Leake allowed two runs on eight hits and struck out three. He walked one — C.J. Cron with one out in the eighth inning. That ended Leake’s streak of 140 consecutive batters faced without allowing a base on balls, the longest in the major leagues this season.

Right-hander Alex Colome, acquired from the Rays with Span in a four-player trade May 25, came on with a 5-1 lead after Leake allowed a leadoff double to Wilson Ramos in the ninth inning.

Colome, who led the American League with 47 saves last season, got two outs before hitting Carlos Gomez with a pitch and allowing a line-drive single up the middle to Mallex Smith to load the bases. Johnny Field then hit a three-run double down the left-field line to make it 5-4. Colome got Daniel Robertson to ground out to third to end the game.

The Rays’ Ryne Stanek, who started in Tampa Bay’s unique bullpen system of using relievers to open some games, got out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning after allowing a hit and two bases on balls.

Right-hander Austin Pruitt (1-3) entered in the second and promptly gave up three runs.

Span led off the second with a walk and moved to third on a one-out single to right by David Freitas. Jean Segura grounded a single to right to score Span with the game’s first run. Haniger grounded a single to right that deflected off the glove of second baseman Joey Wendle, allowing both Freitas and Segura to score.

The Rays got a run back in the bottom of the inning as Robertson led off with a homer to deep left-center field, his seventh of the season.

Span’s homer in the third restored the three-run lead and Haniger hit a leadoff homer in the fifth, his 13th, to make it 5-1.

Pruitt pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out six.

—Field Level Media

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