MLB: After rough week, Mariners continue road trip vs. Rays

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The Seattle Mariners will continue their trek through Florida when they travel up the state’s Gulf Coast to open a three-game series Monday night against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The American League West-leading Mariners will look to bounce back after a rough stretch last week when they take on the Rays, who have climbed to fourth in the AL East.

Seattle, which sits 10 games over .500, is just 2-4 on its current nine-game road swing through Cleveland, Miami and St. Petersburg.

The Rays have gotten the better of the West Coast team, winning the past three meetings, Sept. 8-10 last season, as part of a four-game home series.

The Rays are also 10-5 across the 15 previous meetings between the clubs.

The Mariners have received some strong pitching performances this season, and Logan Gilbert has been a centerpiece of the staff over his past three starts.

On Saturday, the right-hander crafted his second consecutive start of at least eight scoreless innings and was perturbed when Seattle manager Scott Servais told him that he was being removed in the 9-0 blowout win in Miami against the Marlins.

Tensions elevated somewhat when Gilbert — sitting on 92 pitches — lobbied to remain in for the shutout, but Servais was not upset by the reaction and said it is a competitive quality his players possess.

“I put my hand out to shake his hand, and then he wouldn’t shake my hand,” Servais said. “And I love it about Logan — all of our guys, really. They want it. It’s hard to get complete games in this league. And quite frankly, if the game would’ve been closer, I’d have been more inclined to let him go. But we’ve got so many big games ahead of us.”

On Sunday, the Mariners gave up four runs to Miami in the first, trailed 6-0 after three innings and weren’t able to rebound in a 6-4 loss.

Right-hander Bryan Woo (3-1, 1.67 ERA) will make his first career appearance against the Rays in his eighth start this year.

In facing Pittsburgh Pirates phenom Paul Skenes for the first time Sunday, the Rays got a leadoff homer from Yandy Diaz and broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth on Randy Arozarena’s sacrifice fly. Tampa Bay won 3-1, taking two of three in Pittsburgh.

The Rays went 5-4 on their nine-game road trip to Atlanta, Minnesota and Pittsburgh.

Diaz, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games, stroked a homer off Skenes on the game’s first pitch, with the 347-foot shot striking the right field foul pole.

“I was looking for a fastball right down the middle and that’s exactly what he threw me and I was able to hit it out,” said Diaz, who had three hits and is batting .366 during his streak.

Tampa Bay limited the Pirates to just three hits, with relievers Garrett Cleavinger, winning pitcher Kevin Kelly (2-0), Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks (11th save) holding the Pirates hitless over four frames after Aaron Civale’s five-inning, one-run start.

Right-hander Taj Bradley (2-4, 4.06), who will make his ninth start Monday, holds no record and an 8.38 ERA against the Mariners in two career starts.

–Field Level Media

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