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Mariners edge Rays late on home run by Chris Iannetta in 11th

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The Tampa Bay Rays left this one somewhere on base. Maybe on third. Maybe on second.

Regardless, it was the failure to take advantage of opportunities that doomed the Rays in their third straight defeat, a loss that left the team at 15-17 as it prepares to return home.

The Rays lost 6-5 in 11 innings on a home run by Seattle‘s Chris Iannetta, but they flirted with going ahead after Kevin Kiermaier’s home run in the top of the ninth. Later that inning, the Rays got hits from Brandon Guyer and Brad Miller, and Evan Longoria had a 3-0 count. But he went down swinging, and the Mariners got out of the inning.

In the 10th, they loaded the bases — two of the runners on walks — but a pop-up and groundout let the Mariners off the hook.

In the 11th, a single by Guyer and a walk to Longoria led to a Rays threat, but Corey Dickerson and Steven Souza flied out. Dickerson had hit a grand slam early in the day after the Rays fell behind 4-0.

It continued the Rays problems getting runs across the plate except for the home run. Dickerson’s slam and Kiermaier’s ninth-inning homers led to all five Rays runs. The Rays now have 46 homers in 23 games, but they’re hitting only .223 as a team. They are last in the majors in hitting with runners in scoring position (. 211).

Chris Archer started for the Rays, but news of his turnaround may be exaggerated. He gave up four earned runs in five innings.

The Rays are home against Oakland on Friday night. Jake Odorizzi pitches against Rich Hill.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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