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Mariners’ Felix Hernandez shuts down Tampa Bay again

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Sometimes, the other guys can pitch a little, too.

The Tampa Bay Rays’ offense was completely shut down by King Felix Hernandez (9-2) of the Seattle Mariners in a 2-1 loss Saturday night that broke the Rays’ four-game winning streak. Hernandez allowed only two hits in seven innings and only three for the game.

Seattle, which has been in a horrible slump offensively, didn’t need many runs to beat the Rays. They got the winner on a home run by Austin Jackson off Steve Geltz in the seventh inning. The Mariners had earlier wasted a bases-loaded, no one out situation in the fourth.

The Mariners’ other run came when Willie Bloomquist drove in Steve Smith off Rays’ starter Alex Colome.

The Rays scored their only run in the sixth when Kevin Kiermaier tripled and scored on a wild pitch.

The night wasn’t kind to current Rays, and it wasn’t a lot better to former ones. Closer Fernando Rodney has struggled lately with a 6.94 era. Instead, the Mariners used Carson Smith, who picked up his first career save and helped Seattle break a seven-game losing streak.

Chris Archer, who is off to a superb start, will pitch for the Rays on Sunday. So far, he has 97 strikeouts and a 2.01 era. He opposes former Rays’ minor league Mike Montgomery, who was traded for Erasmus Ramirez.

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

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