Rays-Mariners Preview

Despite ending a three-game skid their last time out, the Tampa

Bay Rays haven’t been able to muster much offense of late.

Given their history against Erik Bedard, they could be in for

another quiet day at the plate.

The visiting Rays look for their momentum to carry over against

Bedard, who takes the mound for the Seattle Mariners on Sunday in

the finale of a four-game set.

Tampa Bay (30-28) scored three runs in the second inning and

held on to defeat Seattle (30-28) 3-2 on Saturday, snapping a

three-game losing streak during which it scored a total of two


Following Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to Texas, the Rays were defeated

8-2 in Thursday’s series opener and were shut out again by Jason

Vargas on Friday.

Johnny Damon went 2 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI Saturday

and Ben Zobrist had two hits and drove in two.

“We used (a) bloop hit to spark rallies and Zobrist had a great

swing on a pitch that was almost impossible to hit,” Damon said.

“Sometimes you have to be lucky and hopefully that means we can get

going on a streak here soon.”

Tampa Bay, however, could have trouble generating much offense

against Bedard (3-4, 3.41 ERA), who has flourished of late.

Since losing his first four starts of the season, the

left-hander has gone 3-0 over his six most recent outings while

compiling a 1.37 ERA since April 27 – a top-five mark in the league

over that span.

Bedard allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings but saw

his season-best scoreless innings streak ended at 20 during

Tuesday’s 3-2 victory over Baltimore.

While he hasn’t faced the Rays since 2008, Bedard has

experienced plenty of success against them. He’s 6-0 with a 2.58

ERA while striking out 67 over 52 1-3 innings in his last eight

starts against Tampa Bay. His 11 career wins over the Rays are his

most versus any team.

B.J. Upton has managed just four hits in 23 at-bats (.174)

against Bedard while Damon is 3 for 20 (.150). Zobrist has also

struggled, recording one hit in nine at-bats.

While the Rays offense has failed to get much going lately, Wade

Davis’ (4-5, 4.52) efforts on the mound have also left much to be

desired. He is 0-3 with a 7.48 ERA in his last four starts and is

coming off his ugliest outing of the season.

Davis allowed a season-worst seven runs and a career-high 12

hits and failed to make it out of the third inning during Monday’s

11-5 loss to the visiting Rangers.

“He’s not been consistent with his game to this point, but I

really am kind of encouraged,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I saw

better velocity. I saw a good delivery. They just hit him.”

Davis, 1-3 with a 5.16 ERA during day games, has gone 0-1 with a

3.86 mark in two career starts against the Mariners – both at home.

He has allowed 11 runs through 18 2-3 innings in his last three

road starts.

Justin Smoak is 2 for 2 with a home run off the right-hander

while Franklin Gutierrez has also taken him deep.

Rays All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria, who missed more than

a month earlier in the season due to a strained left oblique, had

to leave Saturday’s game with tightness in his left side. While the

injury is not considered serious, he is listed as day-to-day and

uncertain to play Sunday.