"He got home runs off guys that don't give them up," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said after Seager's game-winning solo shot, which followed an earlier grand slam. "He was just phenomenal tonight. He saved us."
The dramatic turnaround came after the Rays erased the Mariners' three-run lead in the ninth, when they loaded the bases with no outs against Fernando Rodney. Evan Longoria then delivered a two-run double and Jake Elmore hit into a fielder's choice that tied the score at 6 and gave Elmore four RBIs.
"Liked the way we came back there," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We got big hits, they got big hits. Their hits just ultimately outnumbered ours."
Seager's earlier heroics came in the eighth, when the Mariners loaded the bases against Jake McGee with no outs. Seager rerouted the first pitch he saw from the hard-throwing left-hander and deposited it into the right-field stands for his eighth home run of the season and a three-run Seattle lead.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Seager unloads 'em: The Mariners had struggled mightily with the bases full this season -- hitting just .118 overall and .067 with the bases loaded and fewer than two out -- until Seager's blast off McGee in the eighth. Seager's grand slam was the Mariners' first since Sept. 28, 2013, ending a club-record streak of 140 bases-loaded opportunities without a homer. Former Mariners second baseman Nick Franklin helped by booting a potential double-play grounder by Nelson Cruz with runners on first and second to load the bases for Seager, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his 3-for-5 night and career-high six RBIs.
"I've faced McGee in the past, and it's certainly not a comfortable at-bat, as hard as he throws, and he comes right at you," said Seager. "There being a guy on third with less than two outs makes it a little easier, where you're just trying to get a ball in the air and get a ball out there far enough." More >
Colome staying alive: Rays starter Alex Colome did not appear as though he would be able to escape the first, much less pitch through half a game, but he got the job done -- even after throwing 38 pitches in the opening inning, when he allowed two runs. He followed with 4 1/3 scoreless frames and left with one out in the sixth and the Rays holding a one-run lead.
"Credit Alex Colome for the way he threw the ball," Cash said, "given the first inning and how that scenario all played out."
Cano clanks throw: Even after Rodney gave up a two-run double to Longoria, the Mariners had a chance to close out a 6-5 game in the ninth when Elmore hit a one-out grounder to Seager at third for a likely game-ending double play. But second baseman Robinson Cano threw wide of first on the relay, and the tying run scored. Cano has struggled at the plate this season but is normally extremely reliable in the field and has an excellent throwing arm. Cano did continue to break out of his hitting slump with a 2-for-5 night that included two hard-hit outs.
"I saw something I've never seen from one of the greatest second basemen of all time," McClendon said. "I guess he just didn't get a grip on it. I'm sure Robbie is kicking himself on that one. It was a double-play ball."
Energizing Elmore: With the Rays' offense in the middle of a tailspin, Elmore provided just what the doctor prescribed. With Tampa Bay trailing, 2-0, in the bottom of the first, Elmore shot a single into right field, scoring Logan Forsythe and Joey Butler to quickly knot things back up. Then, in the third, Elmore sent another single to center, plating Tim Beckham to give the Rays a one-run lead. With the Rays trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth, Elmore drove in the tying run to finish his four RBI night -- a career high. More >
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Rays challenged a play in the first inning when Colome threw home after fielding Seager's chopper to the third-base side of the mound. Catcher Rene Rivera caught Colome's throw and applied the tag to the sliding Seth Smith, who was called safe. After a review of two minutes and 57 seconds, the umpires signaled that the call on the field stood.
With one out in the seventh and Butler on first, Longoria hit a ball deep down the left-field line. Brad Miller tried to make the catch, but the ball hit -- foul, according to the call. But an umpire review followed, and the call on the field was overturned. Butler was sent to third base and Longoria to second.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners:Felix Hernandez, who has had some memorable games against the Rays, will be on the mound to close out the series at Tropicana Field in Wednesday's 10:10 a.m. PT finale. Hernandez (7-1, 2.19 ERA) threw his perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2012 at Safeco Field and struck out a career-high 15 last season at the Trop. He's 5-2 with a 2.12 ERA in 13 starts against the Rays.
Rays:Chris Archer (5-4, 2.40) will make his 11th start of the season after picking up a win against the A's on Friday night. He is 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA in three career starts against the Mariners. He faced them once last season, going up against Hernandez on June 8 at Tropicana Field. He did not allow a run in 6 1/3 innings in that one en route to a no-decision..