- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon sees signs that his team is close to breaking out of its offensive funk.

Wherever he sees it, that wasn’t the case in the Mariners’ 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.

The Mariners, who have scored just 13 runs during their current six-game losing streak, were 1-of-11 with runners in scoring position and 7-of-40 during the losing streak. They are last in the league in hitting at .236 and have just a .219 average with runners in scoring position. They have scored 193 runs, third fewest in the majors.

“I don’t wonder, I believe that we are going to bust out. … We’re going to score a lot of runs,” McClendon said. “Tonight was one of those nights that leaves you scratching your head. My guys are certainly capable of doing it. We will get it done.”

In that quest, the club gained another big bat for the next two-thirds of the season. Mark Trumbo was acquired in a six-player trade Wednesday with Arizona. He started at first, batted fifth and had a pair of singles.

“It’s always good to get that first one and he got it in his first at-bat,” McClendon said.

Former Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez and four Tampa Bay relievers quieted the Mariners’ bats.

Ramirez (4-2), traded to the Rays on March 31, held Seattle to one run on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked one and struck out five.

Xavier Cedeno, Brandon Gomes, Jake McGee and Kevin Jepsen gave up just three hits and no runs over the final 3 2-3 innings. Jepsen picked up his second save in four opportunities.

Roenis Elias (2-3) went eight strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out six.

“He was outstanding. He did a tremendous job,” McClendon said. “His command is good, his secondary stuff is good. He is pitching in and up and down. He is showing a lot of poise out there.”

Joey Butler opened the two-run fourth with a single to right. With one out, Logan Forsythe was hit by a pitch. Butler and Forsythe then pulled off a successful double steal.

Steven Souza Jr., who went to Cascade High School, followed with an RBI single to center. That ended Elias’ 0-for-16 streak with runners in scoring position, over four-plus starts.

Forsythe scored on Jake Elmore fielder’s choice, which held up as the winning run.

Cano’s run-scoring single in the fifth made it 2-1. The Mariners have played 37 games decided by two runs or fewer.


Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (strained lat), on the DL since April 24, threw 27 pitches off the mound in the bullpen before the game. He said he feels better “but I’m not there yet.” He’ll have another bullpen session Sunday and again Wednesday in Cleveland. If he progresses, he’ll be sent out on a rehab assignment. 1B Logan Morrison (back spasms) was a late scratch.

Rays: OF Desmond Jennings (left knee bursitis), on the DL since May 3 - missing 35 games - will see a knee specialist this week to determine his progress. LHP Matt Moore, working his way back from Tommy John surgery on April 22 last season, will have a second rehab assignment this week. It’s not certain when or where. He threw 52 pitches in his first one Wednesday for Single-A Charlotte.


Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was named to Ned Yost’s American League coaching staff for the 86th All-Star Game in Cincinnati.

“Cincinnati is where I started my big league career,” McClendon said. “It’ll be fun to go back and visit with some folks.”

Yost told him in spring training that he wanted him on his staff. “I’m very appreciative he thought of me,” McClendon said.


Entering the game, the Rays had allowed just 192 runs, second-fewest in club history after 54 games (187 in 2010). But they also have scored the third-fewest in club history, 207.


Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ (3-1, 370) faced the Rays less than two weeks ago in Tampa, a six-inning no-decision. He allowed seven hits and three runs in an eventual Seattle 7-6 victory. Over his last three starts against Tampa, he is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA with 19 strikeouts.

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 2.61) has been stingy against the Mariners in his three career starts. He is 1-1 with an 0.69 ERA, having given up just one run and six hits in 13 innings.

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