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1 - 2 Final
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Homer by Ibanez lifts Mariners to win

Aug 8, 2008 - 6:06 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Raul Ibanez's solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Seattle Mariners to a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

It was the fourth career walk-off homer for Ibanez, who belted a 1-2 offering from Dan Wheeler (2-5) to right field, giving the Mariners their fourth win in the last five games.

"He got a pitch to deal with," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "It looked like a pretty good pitch actually, but he's so hot right now that he went and got it and kept it fair."

Ibanez has been on fire lately, logging 16 RBI in his last six games - including 11 in a two-game stretch. But he claimed that hitting a home run in that situation was the furthest thing from his mind.

"No chance. No way," he said. "It's the opposite. You try to do less and sometimes it happens. If you try to do that, I would have struck out or popped up."

"I was just trying to put him away," Wheeler said. "I was just trying to get him to swing and miss, and I just kind of hung it up there. I did have him in a good count for me, but he hit it pretty good.

Seattle closer J.J. Putz (5-4) earned the victory after escaping a jam in the top of the ninth.

With one out and the game tied, 1-1, Putz hit Evan Longoria on the wrist before surrendering a single to Carlos Pena. However, Putz struck out Cliff Floyd and Dioner Navarro with runners on the corners to preserve the tie, leading to Ibanez's 18th homer.

The loss by the Rays (68-46) trimmed their lead in the American League East Division to 2 1/2 games over the idle Boston Red Sox (66-49) and was only the team's second loss in their last nine games.

Seattle erased a 1-0 deficit in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Yuniesky Betancourt.

Wladimir Balentien doubled to center to start the frame and advanced to third on Brian LaHair's single.

Betancourt followed with his sacrifice fly before Trever Miller relieved starter Andy Sonnanstine and got Ichiro Suzuki to ground out and fanned Jeremy Reed to end the inning.

Sonnanstine held the Mariners to just five hits over 7 1/3 innings. After Jose Lopez's leadoff double in the second, the righthander settled down to retire a franchise-record 17 batters in a row until Lopez doubled with two out in the seventh.

"Andy was really good for us," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Our guys pitched really well tonight. It was just one pitch."

"I felt real good," Sonnanstine said. "Anytime you are challenging guys and getting them out, you don't want to change too many things. I felt like I was very aggressive tonight. Probably the most aggressive I've been in a while, so that's a good sign."

Mariners starter Felix Hernandez went eight innings for his longest outing in his last eight starts. The 22-year-old righthander gave up only one run and four hits, walking three and striking out five.

The Rays' lone run came in the fourth inning as Carl Crawford walked to lead off the frame and scored two batters later on a wild pitch by Hernandez.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
    SEATTLE 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - ANDY SONNANSTINE, TREVER MILLER (8TH), DAN WHEELER (9TH) AND
    DIONER NAVARRO
    SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ, J.J. PUTZ (9TH) AND JEFF CLEMENT

    HOME RUNS: TAM - NONE
    SE

    Aug 8 12:19 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RAUL IBANEZ (18) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF DAN WHEELER.
    FINAL SCORE: SEATTLE 2, TAMPA BAY 1

    Rays 1, Mariners 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsAug 8 12:19 AM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED WLADIMIR
    BALENTIEN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CAIRO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    SEATTLE 1 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.306, 1-FOR-3)

    Rays 1, Mariners 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 7 11:54 PM
  • 101
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 66 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays 1, Mariners 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 7 11:54 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Rays 1, Mariners 0  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 7 11:35 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY FELIX HERNANDEZ ALLOWED CARL CRAWFORD TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    SEATTLE 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C FLOYD (.252, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 1, Mariners 0  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 7 10:55 PM