Marte, Felix snap Rays' 4-game winning streak

Marte, Felix snap Rays' 4-game winning streak

SEATTLE -- Mariners shortstop Ketel Marte had four hits -- including a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth -- as Seattle snapped the Rays' four-game winning streak with a 5-2 victory in Monday's series opener at Safeco Field.

Felix Hernandez picked up the win with seven innings of two-run ball as he moved past Jamie Moyer for the most victories by a pitcher in Mariners history with 146. Hernandez gave up just four hits with two walks and two hit batters as he improved to 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA.

"You have to start with Felix Hernandez," said first-year Mariners manager Scott Servais. "Unbelievable, 146 career wins here kind of says it all. He's gone through a lot here over the course of his career and it's great to see him achieve that here tonight. With the game our shortstop had on top of that, it was pretty cool. That was a pretty fun game to watch."

Marte had two doubles as well as his first home run of the season and scored three times as the 22-year-old helped Seattle improve to 19-13 and open a 1 1/2-game lead over Texas in the American League West. The Rays are now 15-15.

Marte collects four hits in win

Corey Dickerson and Evan Longoria hit solo home runs off Hernandez for the Rays before Marte broke the 2-2 tie with his first-pitch blast off reliever Steve Geltz in the sixth.

"He's a hitter with runners in scoring position in a tie game," Geltz said. "I had a feeling he was either going to bunt or be swinging. So I tried to stick to my game plan. Up in the zone. Aggressive. Get a popout or a fouled off bunt or something, and he hit it good."

Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore lasted just 4 2/3 innings, with seven hits and four walks, but he allowed just two runs as the Mariners were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and had stranded nine runners until Marte's homer.

Speed outruns the gun: After the Mariners stranded runners at second and third in the first two frames, they finally pushed one across in the third when Marte led off with a double, moved to third on Robinson Cano's groundout to first and scooted home on a sacrifice fly to center by Nelson Cruz for a 1-0 lead. But this wasn't your run of the mill sac fly, as the speedy Marte flew home and slid around the tag of catcher Hank Conger to just beat a laser throw from center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who has one of the best arms in baseball. Statcast™ measured Marte's top speed at 21 mph on the sprint home, the eighth fastest third-to-home clocking in MLB this season.

Cruz's sac fly scores Marte

"Marte's probably the only guy on our team that scores on that play," said Servais. "That was a heck of a throw. Kiermaier is a heck of a center fielder with a very good arm. We knew it. When we sent him, I thought he'd make it easy. But it was a heck of a throw." More >

Power Rays: Hernandez had held the Rays hitless through three innings when Dickerson led off the fourth. The Rays slugger swung at the first pitch, riding a 90-mph sinker the opposite direction. When the ball landed on the other side of the left-field wall, Dickerson had his seventh home run of the season and he'd tied the game at 1. Longoria added a solo shot to center field in the fifth to put the Rays up 2-1. The Rays have hit 11 home runs over the last five games and 23 over the last 13. More >

Longoria's solo home run

Helping out the King: Both teams had trouble picking up hits with runners in scoring position most of the night, but Mariners catcher Chris Iannetta didn't even let Kiermaier have a chance in the sixth. After Brandon Guyer ripped a two-out double off Hernandez, Iannetta picked the Rays' left fielder off second with a strong throw to end the inning and keep the game tied at 2, setting up Marte's go-ahead shot in the bottom of that frame.

Iannetta's perfect pickoff throw

"That was pretty good," said Hernandez. "It was a good team win for us."

Walks kill: Dana Eveland had just eased the Rays out of a jam in the fifth to keep the scored tied at 2 when he came back out to pitch the sixth and promptly walked Leonys Martin and Norichika Aoki. That's when Rays manager Kevin Cash opted to go with Geltz, because he did not want to keep seeing the walks. Geltz then surrendered what turned out to be the game-winning homer to Marte.

"I know I'm better than that. I'll figure something out," Eveland said.

"Just keep it rolling. Every night. That's the nice thing. We need different guys to step up every night, and obviously it was Marte tonight. I can't tell you who it's going to be tomorrow, but it's great when you just don't rely on the same one or two guys every night." -- Servais, after the Mariners won their 17th game in the past 24.

Servais on Mariners' 5-2 win

"The frustrating inning is probably where we walked the two leadoff guys in a tie ballgame." -- Cash, on the sixth when Eveland walked the first two hitters of the inning

Hernandez is now 7-0 with a 1.67 ERA in 11 starts against the Rays at Safeco Field, and the Mariners are 11-0 in those games, including his perfect game in 2012.

Guyer, who leads the Major Leagues in hit by pitches, got plunked again Monday night. Hernandez hit him on the leg in the top of the fourth, moving Guyer's season total to 10. He has gotten hit in three of his last four games, including twice in Friday night's game against the Angels. Guyer, who is hitting .327, has six more hits than hit by pitches on the season.

Rays: Drew Smyly (1-3, 2.72 ERA) makes his seventh start of the season in Tuesday's 10:10 p.m. ET rematch against the Mariners at Safeco Field. The left-hander has been the team's best starter in the early part of the season. He has been sharp with all of his pitches and is adroit at getting ahead in the count.

Mariners: Wade Miley (2-2, 4.74 ERA) looks to continue his recent hot streak in Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. PT rematch against the Rays at Safeco Field. Miley is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA over his last three starts. The lefty is 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA in seven career meetings with Tampa Bay.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.