Long grand slam in 10th, Mariners sweep Rays in 4-game set
SEATTLE (AP) — Shed Long Jr. hit a grand slam with two outs in the 10th inning, lifting the Seattle Mariners over the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 on Sunday for a four-game sweep.
“I knew I won the game. I didn’t know it would be a grand slam off the bat,” Long said. “It was unbelievable, honestly. Unbelievable. Just a great feeling. It’s one of the coolest things you can do in baseball.”
The Rays owned the best record in the majors before their current six-game losing streak.
Long’s first homer of the season came against Diego Castillo (2-4). It was the first grand slam and game-winning home run of Long’s career.
“It was the pitch I wanted to throw, and he just connected the way he wanted to connect,” Castillo said.
Long started the season on the injured list with a stress fracture in his right shin. This was his 11th game since returning on June 7.
Dylan Moore started Seattle’s 10th with a bunt hit when Castillo’s throw to third was too late to catch designated runner Taylor Trammell, who was pinch-running for Ty France.
Trammell then got caught in a rundown between third and home on Jake Bauers’ grounder for the first out. Luis Torrens drew a walk to load the bases and Jake Fraley popped out to shallow right before Long’s shot to right field.
France and Torrens also homered for the Mariners, who have won seven of eight.
It was the first time the Rays had been swept in a four-game series since the Tigers did it in a series finishing on July 3, 2016.
The Mariners trailed in all four games, and had the game-winning run come in the final inning three times in the series, including the last two in extras.
“Every opportunity that was presented to them, it felt like they capitalized,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “And that’s why we’re going home from this trip with no wins.”
Rafael Montero (4-2) pitched a perfect top of the 10th for the win.
Shane McClanahan kept the Mariners quiet early in one of his strongest starts. The rookie left-hander struck out eight in six innings, both career highs. He gave up three hits, with the only run coming on Torrens’ leadoff homer in the third inning, and walked one.
Marco Gonzales was also strong on the mound for Seattle, keeping the Rays scoreless through five innings before running into some trouble.
Manuel Margot had an RBI double in the sixth to tie it at 1-1. In the seventh, Brandon Lowe doubled when Fraley just missed a tough running catch at the center-field wall, and Mike Zunino followed with a double, chasing Gonzales from the game.
Gonzales allowed two runs on five hits in 6 1/3 innings, walking three and matching his season-high with six strikeouts.
“I know we’re going to celebrate this one,” Gonzales said.
France led off the seventh inning with his sixth homer, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Bauers has also hit in nine straight. The nine-game streaks are the longest for Seattle this season.
Mariners: France held his wrist and was visited by a trainer after a strikeout swing to end the ninth inning. He remained in the game at first base in the top of the 10th before being removed for Trammel. France had missed time with a wrist injury in May, and manager Scott Servais said he would have an MRI on Monday. … Servais said RHP Erik Swanson (right groin strain) will throw a bullpen session on Monday before likely starting a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma.
The Rays have Monday off before starting a six-game homestand Tuesday against Boston. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said before Sunday’s game he has not decided on a starter or if the Rays would utilize an opener.
Mariners: RHP Chris Flexen (6-3, 4.12 ERA) will start against the Rockies on Tuesday. Flexen set career highs with eight strikeouts and eight innings while holding the Twins scoreless in his last outing.