Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Seattle 2 (12 innings)
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Elliot Johnson, who entered the game
when Evan Longoria left with an injury in the third frame, fisted a go-ahead
bloop single in the 12th inning, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 3-2 victory
over the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a four-game set.
In the 12th, Brandon League (0-2) issued a one-out walk to Ben Zobrist and
Carlos Pena followed with a sharp single to right field. Johnson came up next
and his looper to left field plated Zobrist, who just slid in safely after a
strong throw from Chone Figgins in left field.
Longoria left the contest with an apparent knee injury following an awkward
slide into second base. He walked off the field under his own power.
J.P. Howell (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless top of the 12th.
Jesus Montero and Miguel Olivo smacked solo homers to account for Seattle's
The Mariners struck first in the second inning on Olivo's solo homer to left
But the Rays had the answer in the bottom half of the frame. Brandon Allen
worked a one-out walk, advanced to third on B.J. Upton's double and came home
on Sean Rodriguez's single through the hole on the right side, knotting the
score at 1-1.
"Those guys can hit," said Seattle starter Felix Hernandez.
The Mariners had a chance to go ahead in the ninth as they had runners on the
corners with one out. But Fernando Rodney fielded Michael Saunders' squeeze-
bunt attempt and his underhand flip to home nabbed Munenori Kawasaki at the
Montero's solo homer over the wall in right-center field put Seattle on top in
the 11th, 2-1.
The Rays, though, tied the contest at 2-2 in the bottom half. Luke Scott led
off with a double. Jeff Keppinger came on to pinch run and moved to third on
Matt Joyce's fly to center field. Two batters later, Upton's soft single into
right field plated Keppinger.
"They get on top, but we keep battling back. There's no quit in the group,"
said Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
Hernandez fanned nine and allowed one run on five hits and four walks in eight
innings for Seattle, while Jeremy Hellickson struck out seven and gave up
one run on six hits in seven frames for Tampa Bay...The Rays signed
outfielder/designated hitter Hideki Matsui to a minor-league contract on
05/01 02:11:08 ET
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