Smoak keeps slumping Rays spiraling


SEATTLE — Justin Smoak smacked a tie-breaking two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning that dealt the Tampa Bay Rays a potentially costly 6-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Smoak’s two-out hit off Joel Peralta (2-6) plated Kyle Seager, who had taken second earlier in the inning when Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings dropped a deep fly ball, with the eventual deciding run and enabled the Mariners to snap a string of six straight home losses in the opener of this three-game set.

Seager knocked in two runs earlier in the contest, while Raul Ibanez belted a solo homer and Franklin Gutierrez went 2-for-4 with an RBI single. The setback, the 10th in 13 outings for the slumping Rays, dropped the club to two games ahead of Baltimore and Cleveland for the AL’s second wild card berth.

Delmon Young finished 2-for-5 with a solo homer and two runs scored for Tampa Bay. Jose Molina also collected a pair of hits, including an RBI single.

Brad Miller snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a ground-rule double that began the bottom of the first and later scored on a Seager sac fly as Seattle grabbed an early 1-0 edge. The lead didn’t last long, though, as Young clubbed a solo homer to open the second.

Tampa Bay took its only lead of the night in the third, loading the bases on consecutive singles by Ben Zobrist and Longoria and a walk to Matt Joyce before Iwakuma’s slider got away from catcher Mike Zunino.

Cobb worked six innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits while striking out five.