ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Roenis Elias came through with another positive start to follow up his first complete game.
Elias won his second consecutive start, Dustin Ackley drove in three runs, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 on Saturday.Elias (5-4), coming off a three-hit shutout over Detroit last Sunday, was chased after giving up a two-run homer in the eighth to Evan Longoria that cut the Mariners' lead to 7-4. The left-hander allowed four runs and five hits over 7 2/3 innings."I felt really good out there," Elias said through an interpreter. "I'm doing what I'm capable of doing. I'm working hard to keep that going."Elias struck out five and walked two."I really liked what I saw today," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "Probably left him in a little bit too long."Ackley hit a three-run double off Alex Cobb (1-4) during a four-run fifth that put the Mariners ahead 7-2. Willie Bloomquist added an RBI double in the inning."That's huge," Ackley said of getting Elias the five-run lead. "At point he's throwing the ball well anyway. To have that kind of insurance definitely helps him."Fernando Rodney, the former Rays closer, pitched the ninth to get his 17th save in his first appearance at Tropicana Field since joining the Mariners as a free agent in February.James Loney homered for the Rays, who had a stopped a 10-game losing streak by beating Seattle 4-0 Friday night.The Rays celebrated the life of senior adviser Don Zimmer before the game. Zimmer died Wednesday night at 83. Joe Torre, Jim Leyland and Tommy Lasorda, along with more than 20 family members were present."It was very emotional," said McClendon, who played for Zimmer on the 1989 NL East champion Chicago Cubs. "I thought it was very on."Bloomquist had an RBI single and Endy Chavez hit a sacrifice fly during the fourth. Cole Gillespie hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot in the second. It was Gillespie's first homer since Sept. 28, 2011, while with the Los Angeles Dodgers.Seattle has won five of six.Cobb gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander is 0-3 in four starts since returning from a strained left oblique."They had some really good at bats working and they just beat us up," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Just not Cobb's day."Loney had a solo shot and Ali Solis drove in a run with a sacrifce bunt as the Rays went ahead 2-1 in the second.
Ackley had two RBIs in his previous 16 games. ... Seattle 1B Justin Smoak (sore left leg) and OF Michael Saunders (sore right shoulder) were both out of the lineup. Smoak entered as a defensive replacement in the ninth. ... The Rays designated reliever Josh Lueke for assignment and recalled RHP Kirby Yates from Triple-A Durham. Yates entered in the seventh and threw 1 1/3 shutout innings in his big league debut. ... Seattle 2B Robinson Cano singled in the fifth and has a 16-game road hitting streak. ... Rays RHP Jeremy Hellckson (elbow) and C Ryan Hanigan (hamstring) started minor league rehab assignments with Single-A Charlotte. Hellickson gave up two hits in three shutout innings and Hanigan hit a two-run homer against Tampa. ... Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (8-1) and Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (3-3) are Sunday's scheduled starters.
23,996 (70.4% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
Home Plate - Tim Welke, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Clint Fagan, Third Base - Tim Timmons
Hitters have a .094 ISO against Alex Cobb's fastball this season, which is 62 points below the league average. Robinson Cano has a .078 ISO against fastballs this year, which is 95 points below the league average among qualified hitters.