ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Randy Arozarena had a two-run triple during a three-run third and the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Wednesday to avoid a season series sweep.
The Rays went 1-6 overall against Seattle, including losing the first two games of the three-game set.
Josh Fleming (9-5) allowed two runs and five hits, and Mike Zunino hit his 21st homer for the Rays. Ryan Sherriff, the third Tampa Bay reliever, worked the ninth to get his first save.
Mariners rookie Logan Gilbert (5-3) gave up three runs and four hits over five innings. Seattle had won 11 consecutive games, dating to May 25, when Gilbert started. The right-hander was 5-0 during the stretch.
Tampa Bay had been hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position during the series prior to Arozarena’s triple that center fielder Jarred Kelenic failed to make a running catch on. Arozarena came home to make it 3-1 on Joey Wendle’s sacrifice fly.
Zunino gave Tampa Bay a 4-2 advantage on a sixth-inning solo shot.
Seattle had two on with no outs in the eighth but scored just once, on Matt Wisler’s wild pitch.
Mitch Haniger hit a ground-ball triple leading off the sixth that deflected off the glove of a diving Arozarena in left field and ended Fleming’s day. Kyle Seager cut the Mariners’ deficit to 3-2 on a sacrifice fly off JT Chargois.
Seager has 15 RBI over his last 15 games.
Dylan Moore had a two-out single in the third, swiped second for his 17th stolen base, and scored on a single by J.P. Crawford to give Seattle a 1-0 lead.
REDS 5, TWINS 5: Luis Castillo pitched six effective innings, Tyler Stephenson homered to give the Reds a cushion they ended up needing, and Cincinnati held on to beat visiting Minnesota.
Jonathan India had three hits and Joey Votto drove in two runs for the Reds.
Castillo (6-10) allowed Jorge Polanco’s first-inning solo homer but settled in nicely from there, allowing six hits and one walk, striking out seven to win his third straight start.
Stephenson went deep to the batter’s eye in left-center to give the Reds a 6-1 lead in the seventh.
The Twins then sent nine batters to the plate in a four-run eighth. Trevor Larnach drove in two with a double, Miguel Sano had an RBI double and Ryan Jeffers added a run-scoring single before Michael Lorenzen came in for a five-out save, his first of the season.
2022 SCHEDULE: Major League Baseball will open the 2022 season on March 31 – as long as there isn’t a work stoppage – and will try for the fourth time to have every team play its first game on the same day for the first time since 1968.
NL openers have the Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati, Colorado at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta at Miami, Arizona at Milwaukee, Washington at the New York Mets, St. Louis at Pittsburgh and San Francisco at San Diego.
AL openers are Toronto at Baltimore, Tampa Bay at Boston, Minnesota at the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City at Cleveland, the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland, Detroit at Seattle and the New York Yankees at Texas.
In the one interleague opener, Philadelphia is at Houston.
The collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players’ association expires Dec. 1. Given the acrimonious relationship between the sides, a lockout or strike appears possible. Baseball has not had a work stoppage since a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95 that caused the first cancellation of the World Series in 90 years.
MLB tried to have all 30 clubs play on the same Opening Day for three of the past four seasons. Pittsburgh at Detroit and Washington at Cincinnati were rained out in 2018.
For 2019, Seattle and Oakland started ahead of other teams with a two-game series in Tokyo. The start of the 2020 season was delayed to July 23 due to the pandemic, and the only game on opening night had the Yankees at Washington.
When MLB tried again this year, the Mets’ game in Washington – a prime pitching matchup between Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer – was postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak. Baltimore’s game at Boston was postponed because rain was in the forecast.
Interleague play has the AL East vs. NL Central, AL Central vs. NL West and AL West vs. NL East. The Cubs play at Yankee Stadium from June 10-12 and the Red Sox are at Wrigley Field from July 1-3.
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