SEATTLE - Shed Long Jr. hit a tying double in the bottom of the ninth inning and pinch-hitter Kyle Seager singled home the winning run to rally the Seattle Mariners past the Tampa Bay Rays 6-5 on Thursday night.
Seattle lost starter Justin Dunn to a sore right shoulder after two innings, but came from behind with the help of a two-run homer by Ty France and a solo shot from Luis Torrens.
Dylan Moore drew a four-pitch walk from reliever Pete Fairbanks (1-2) to start the ninth. Jake Bauers singled and Long tied it 5-all with his second double of the game.
Seager batted for Taylor Trammell and singled through the right side of a drawn-in infield to score Bauers from third.
"I wasn’t prepared for it," Seager joked about his chance to hit. "I was watching the game."
Seattle manager Scott Servais said Seager, the team’s regular third baseman, was supposed to be shut down for the day. But he told him to be ready with the Mariners trailing 5-4 in the top of the ninth inning.
"When it gets to that point in the game and you’ve only got one bullet to shoot, you might as well shoot it," Servais said.
Hector Santiago (1-1) struck out three in a hitless inning for the win.
Seattle has won four of five. The Rays are 24-8 in their last 32 games, with the eight losses coming by a total of 12 runs. Five were by one run.
Randy Arozarena hit his 10th home run off Mariners reliever JT Chargois after Ji-Man Choi’s leadoff single in the fourth. Brett Phillips drew a walk, stole second and scored on Brandon Lowe’s single to make it 3-1 in the fifth.
Joey Wendle and Kevin Kiermaier added RBI singles in the sixth to help build a 5-2 lead.
It was the second loss in two days for Fairbanks, who gave up the winning hit Wednesday night in the 10th inning of an 8-7 defeat to the Chicago White Sox. The Rays have dropped three in a row, shaving their AL East lead to a half-game over Boston.
"We’ve got a good team," an angry Fairbanks said. "As long as I don’t blow it when we take leads into the ninth, when I’ve got that opportunity, we’ll be fine."
Dunn said after the game that he started experiencing discomfort in his pitching shoulder during warmups. The right-hander looked strong through two innings, with a strikeout against one hit, but experienced increased discomfort and felt he couldn’t return for the third. Dunn spent time on the 10-day injured list earlier this month, returning to the team on June 10.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (right elbow strain) has been moved to the 60-day injured list and left the team following Wednesday’s game in Chicago to see a specialist in Dallas on Friday. Glasnow blamed the injury on the coming crackdown on illegal foreign substances, forcing him to grip the ball differently than he normally would.
Mariners: Evan White reinjured his strained right hip flexor in a rehab game at Triple-A Tacoma and has returned to Seattle. Servais hopes the setback won’t cost the Gold Glove first baseman more than four or five days. White reinjured himself while running to first.
Rays: RHP Michael Wacha (1-1, 4.54 ERA) has not pitched more than three innings since returning from the injured list on May 23.
Mariners: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (3-3, 3.67) returns to the mound after pitching seven shutout innings in his last start.