(Reuters) - The Seattle Mariners rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to stun the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 and snap the visitors’ seven-game winning streak on Tuesday.
The Rays led 2-1 heading into the final inning and were on their way to yet another victory before a throwing error by Carlos Pena put two Seattle (54-64) runners in scoring position with no men out.
“That’s a play that Carlos makes 100 times out of 100,” Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters of the miscue on a Chone Figgins bunt.
“I don’t know exactly what had happened, it was very routine.”
Justin Smoak followed with a game-tying sacrifice-fly and Eric Thames delivered the winning single against losing Tampa Bay pitcher Fernando Rodney.
“It always feels good to win, especially in that fashion,” Smoak said.
“I knew something was going to happen tonight where it was going to come up to me at some point in the game. It was good to come through right there.”
Starter Matt Moore struck out nine batters in seven strong innings to position things nicely for the Rays (63-53), who grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first.
Tampa Bay was looking for their first eight-game winning streak since 2004 but instead they lost ground in the American League East, where they now trail the New York Yankees by six games.
The Mariners won for the third time in four games and evened their three-game series with the Rays heading into Wednesday’s finale.
Kevin Millwood tossed seven innings of a no-decision, striking out eight and allowing two runs, and Stephen Pryor handled the final 1 2/3 innings for the win.
Seattle infielder Kyle Seager initiated the comeback in the ninth with a single, finishing 2-for-4 while scoring the tying run.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien