Mariners
Rays
7 - 8 Final
  for this game

Rays sweep Mariners on Damon's walkoff HR

Aug 22, 2011 - 12:55 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Johnny Damon belted a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Tampa Bay Rays to an 8-7 victory and a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field.

Damon, who homered on the first pitch of the inning, finished 2-for-5 with a three-run double to cap a four-run seventh. John Jaso chipped in with a pair of RBI and Ben Zobrist knocked in a run for the Rays, who have won five in a row.

"I was looking for a strike, and the first one I saw I was going to jerk something," Damon said.

Kyle Farnsworth (5-1) worked a perfect ninth to earn the victory, while Dan Cortes (0-2) absorbed the loss after giving up Damon's walkoff shot.

Wily Mo Pena and Casper Wells smacked two-run homers for the Mariners, who have lost five straight.

In the home seventh, trailing 5-3, the Rays exploded for four runs. B.J. Upton walked and Matt Joyce ripped a ground-rule double off Mariners reliever Jamey Wright to give the Rays runners on second and third. Upton then trotted home on a groundout by Jaso for the first run of the inning. Following the RBI, Wright walked pinch-hitter Sam Fuld and Desmond Jennings to load the bags with one out. Damon then followed by crushing a ball deep to right-center field off Jeff Gray, which was originally ruled a grand slam. The homer was overturned when replay showed the ball had bounced off the top off the wall, resulting in a three-run double for Damon.

"The offense came through and that's nice to see," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "All season long the pitching has been picking up the offense, but tonight the offense picked up the pitching."

Seattle came right back in the top of the eighth to tie the game at seven courtesy of a two-run bomb by Pena, his first homer of the season.

"We made some mistakes tonight defensively, but we battled back against a very good pitcher," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.

The Rays had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth, as they loaded the bases with two outs. Cortes fired a wild pitch that went to the backstop and Joyce was thrown out at the plate trying to score the go-ahead run.

Damon promptly ended the game in the next inning.

Seattle drew first blood in its first at-bat. Franklin Gutierrez ripped a one-out single and Ackley beat out an infield single to third to put men on first and second. Both runners advanced when Rays starter James Shields whipped a pickoff throw into center field due to a missed sign by Reid Brignac. Gutierrez then scored on a groundout by Mike Carp. Wells then cracked a first-pitch fastball from Shields into the left-field seats for a 3-0 lead,

The Mariners added a fourth run in the next inning when Pena reached on an infield single and Kyle Seager slapped a single into right field to put men on first and third. Pena scored on a groundout by Josh Bard to spot Seattle a 4-0 lead.

Zobrist ripped a leadoff single in the home half of the second, stole second and came around to score on a single up the middle by Joyce to put the Rays on the board. Joyce then stole second and hustled home on a base hit by Jaso to make it 4-2.

The Mariners made it a 5-2 game in the fourth. Seager slapped a single to right and Bard drew a walk to give Seattle runners on first and second. Seager then moved to third on a double play groundout by Ichiro Suzuki and trotted home on a base hit by Gutierrez.

Tampa Bay cut the deficit to two in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Zobrist.

Game Notes

Seattle has recorded at least nine hits in eight of its last 11 games...Carp extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a double in the third inning...Zobrist leads the majors with 41 doubles and is six shy of the club record 47, set by Aubrey Huff in 2003...Joyce swiped his 11th base of the season...It was Wells' 10th home run of the season...It was Damon's 11th home run of the season.






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  • Johnny Damon lead-off Home Run (11) to right to end the game.

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  • Johnny Damon double to right center scored Matt Joyce, Sam Fuld and Desmond Jennings. Runner on second with one out and Evan Longoria due up.

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  • John Jaso ground out second to first scored B.J. Upton. On the play, Matt Joyce advances to third. Runner on third with one out and Reid Brignac due up.

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  • John Jaso single to right scored Matt Joyce. Runner on first with two outs and Reid Brignac due up.

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  • Josh Bard ground out second to first scored Wily Mo Pena. On the play, Kyle Seager advances to second. Runner on second with one out and Ichiro Suzuki due up.

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  • Adam Kennedy grounded out first to pitcher to end the inning.

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  • Mike Carp grounded out second to first, Franklin Gutierrez scored. On the play, Dustin Ackley advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Casper Wells due up.

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