Capps' pickoff critical in victory over Rays

Capps' pickoff critical in victory over Rays

Capps' pickoff critical in victory over Rays

SEATTLE -- While Carter Capps struggled through a tough eighth inning in Friday's 6-4 win over the Rays, the hard-throwing right-hander helped himself considerably by picking pinch-runner Sean Rodriguez off second base after Tampa Bay had put two on with no out to start the frame.

Capps wound up allowing two runs on two hits and two walks, but got out of the inning in a 4-4 tie and emerged as the winning pitcher when Justin Smoak delivered a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth.

Capps credited shortstop Brad Miller with helping pull off the pickoff of Rodriguez, who'd been inserted to pinch-run after James Loney drew a leadoff walk.

"Miller called it and played it off well," Capps said. "He was there and luckily the throw was, too. I think the guy was in a big secondary lead, waiting for a bunt with no outs and runners on first and second. I assume he was bunting. I guess the guy just got a little too happy on second. It was a great call by Miller and it paid off."

Mariners manager Eric Wedge said Capps deserved credit as well for his excellent move.

"It's a combination," Wedge said. "It has to start with Carter, but Brad has to feel it and be there, too. They did a nice job with it. He does a nice job with that. We've seen him do that a few times and almost get somebody. Last night it really paid off for us."

Rays skipper Joe Maddon wasn't nearly as thrilled by the play as his team is fighting for a playoff berth and suffered several critical breakdowns in Friday's loss.

"A lot of negative things can happen," Maddon said. "You can strike out with the bases loaded, you can hang a slider, you can do a lot of different things. But you can't get picked off second base. That's the only thing that really bothered me about all of that.

"I mean people make errors, they swing at pitches in the dirt, etc. But the one part of the game that upset me was that. I'm just being honest. Because there was no play on. There was nothing on, that was straight-up baseball."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.