SEATTLE -- Mike Zunino drove in seven runs, and hit his first career grand slam, and Sam Gaviglio picked up his second career win by relinquishing one run on four hits in five innings, as the Mariners trounced the Rays, 9-2, at Safeco Field on Saturday night.Nelson Cruz went 3-for-4,
SEATTLE -- Mike Zunino drove in seven runs, and hit his first career grand slam, and Sam Gaviglio picked up his second career win by relinquishing one run on four hits in five innings, as the Mariners trounced the Rays, 9-2, at Safeco Field on Saturday night.
Nelson Cruz went 3-for-4, and hit his 100th home run as a Mariner with a solo shot in the fifth, and Danny Valencia went 4-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored to contribute to the Mariners' 16-hit outburst. The Mariners clinched a series win over the Rays and tallied their sixth win in seven games to improve to 27-30.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
"Everybody is chipping in offensively and Sam Gaviglio again tonight did a really nice job for us," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "It's nice when the offense is churning like that, it takes a lot of pressure off the pitching. We were due for that to start to come. It's really a tribute to our guys hanging in there, keep working through it and not getting down on themselves.
"I felt we've turned the corner recently."
Corey Dickerson homered on Gaviglio's third pitch of the game and Logan Morrison slugged his 100th-career home run off Edwin Diaz in the ninth, but it was all Tampa Bay could muster offensively. The Rays have dropped three out of the last four games to fall to 29-29. Alex Cobb took the loss, allowing nine runs in five innings.
"It was kind of a cold night out there and it maybe affected our bats a little bit," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "These guys, back-to-back nights, they just beat us. Alex, he battled, but you could tell that he just wasn't locating the baseball like we've seen him in the past and like he's capable of, and Seattle … burned him a little bit multiple times on some mislocated pitches. Offensively, we just couldn't find a way to get anything going whatsoever."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cruz hits the century mark: Cruz launched a Statcast™ projected 395-foot home run to left-center field off Cobb, his 100th home run in a Mariner uniform. He's the fastest player in club history to reach that milestone, doing so in 362 games. Richie Sexson is the second quickest at 463 games and Alexander Rodriguez is third at 470 games.
Ain't that grand: Zunino's magnificent offensive night was highlighted by his towering grand slam deep into the upper deck in left field to open up a 9-1 lead for the Mariners in the fifth. It was projected at 441 feet, his third longest of the Statcast™ era, with an 111.5 mph exit velocity, the second highest of any of his home runs in the Statcast™ era. More >>
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The bottom of the Mariners lineup continues to produce at a high clip in the series against the Rays. The Mariners' 6-7-8-9 hitters drove in eight runs, which follows a historical performance from the bottom of the Mariners' lineup in Friday's 12-4 win against the Rays, when the last four hitters in the lineup knocked in all 12 runs, matching the 1986 Royals who also did the same.
Rays: Former Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (3-0, 3.66 ERA) takes the ball for Tampa Bay in Sunday afternoon's series finale at Safeco Field at 4:10 p.m. ET. Ramirez, who broke into the Majors with Seattle in 2012 and pitched three seasons there until he was traded to Tampa Bay in March 2015, is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three appearances (one start) vs. his former club.
Mariners:Ariel Miranda, who will make his team-high 12th start this season, is on the bump for the Mariners in the final game of a three-game series against the Rays on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PT. The left-hander is making his first career start against Tampa Bay.
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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.
Josh Horton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.