2 - 3 Final
  for this game

Rays rally for 2 in 8th to beat Mariners

Aug 20, 2011 - 4:43 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Ben Zobrist singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning to send the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field in the opener of a three-game series.

Earlier in the inning, Johnny Damon reached on an infield single with two outs that should have ended the inning, but third baseman Adam Kennedy took too long to get the ball to first and Evan Longoria followed with an RBI single to left to knot the game at 2-2. Zobrist then hit a single to center for the go- ahead run.

"It sets an example for everybody else," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Damon's hustle. "He's over 30 and he still plays the game that hard all the time. I love it."

John Jaso also added an RBI for the Rays, who ran their winning streak to three games.

Juan Cruz (5-0) earned the win in 2/3 of an inning in relief and Kyle Farnsworth worked a perfect ninth to notch his 22nd save of the season.

Felix Hernandez (11-11) was excellent in defeat, giving up three runs on six hits while fanning nine and walking three over eight frames.

"I thought his stuff was electric tonight," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of his starter. "He was efficient and controlled the game. It's tough to give it away late like that, especially with him on the mound."

Kyle Seager cracked his first major league home run for the Mariners, who have lost three straight.

Seattle opened the scoring in the third. Trayvon Robinson ripped a double to right and moved to third on a groundout by Ichiro Suzuki. Tampa Bay elected to play the infield in and Franklin Gutierrez grounded a ball to second. Sean Rodriguez made a nice play moving to his right to snag the ball but hurried his throw to the plate and sailed it wide of Jaso, allowing Robinson to score.

The Rays manufactured the tying run in the fifth. B.J. Upton slapped a one-out single to left and stole second and third. Matt Joyce walked to give the Rays runners on the corners and Jaso got a perfect bunt down the first base line, allowing Upton to score and tie the game.

In the seventh, Seagar deposited a poorly-placed fastball from Rays starter Wade Davis deep into the right field bleachers, giving the Mariners a 2-1 advantage.

Game Notes

Seattle's Mike Carp extended his hitting streak to 18 games...Prior to Friday's game, the Rays activated Jaso from the 15-day DL and optioned Robinson Chirinos to Triple-A Durham...Upton swiped his 25th and 26th bases of the season...Davis gave up two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits. He struck out eight and issued two walks.