EditorsNote: Clarifies Fraley scored in ninth; deletes second first name reference for Heredia; various edits for style
Kevin Kiermaier homered to lead off the ninth inning to tie the score and the winning run came across on a bases-loaded wild pitch as the Tampa Bay Rays salvaged the finale of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners with a 7-6 victory on Wednesday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Following Kiermaier’s homer, his 13th of the season to straightaway center field off Mariners right-hander Matt Magill (3-1), Willy Adames lined a single to left and Michael Brosseau doubled into the left field corner.
After an intentional walk to pinch hitter Ji-Man Choi to load the bases, Magill threw a curveball in the dirt to Tommy Pham. The ball bounced off catcher Omar Narvaez and toward the third base dugout, allowing Adames to score the winning run.
The Mariners, who saw their four-game winning streak halted, scored three runs in the top of the ninth to take a 6-5 lead.
Daniel Vogelbach led off with a homer, his 28th, against Rays closer Emilio Pagan (3-2). Jake Fraley was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to third on Dee Gordon’s single. Gordon stole second and scored with Fraley when Mallex Smith hit a two-run triple into the right field corner.
Guillermo Heredia also homered for the Rays.
The Rays took a 1-0 lead off Mariners opener Cory Gearrin in the first inning without the benefit of a base hit. Pham led off with a walk, stole second and third, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Travis d’Arnaud.
Heredia made it 2-0 in the third with a one-out homer to left-center field, his fourth of the season, off lefty Wade LeBlanc.
The Mariners took the lead with three runs in the top of the fourth off right-hander Charlie Morton.
J.P. Crawford led off with a triple to right field and Austin Nola was hit by a pitch before Kyle Seager grounded into a force to score Crawford.
Narvaez grounded a single into right field and Vogelbach walked to load the bases. Rookie Tim Lopes then grounded a two-run single into right to give Seattle a 3-2 advantage.
The Rays responded in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead.
D’Arnaud led off with a single and advanced to third on Jesus Aguilar’s double to left. An out later, Kiermaier grounded a two-run single to right to make it 4-3.
Tampa Bay added a run in the sixth as Austin Meadows led off with a double and moved to third on a line-drive single by D’Arnaud. Right-hander Reggie McClain relieved LeBlanc and walked Eric Sogard to load the bases before Kiermaier brought home the run by grounding into a force.
— Field Level Media