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Erasmo Stifles Rays As Mariners Take Opener

ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- Austin Pruitt worked seven innings Friday, but a three-run bottom of the first inning was more than enough for the Seattle Mariners to take the opener of the weekend series from the Tampa Bay Rays by a 7-1 score.

Pruitt found himself down 1-0 after just four batters, as YonderAlonso drew a one-out walk, followed by a base hit by Robinson Cano and an RBI double by Nelson Cruz.

Kyle Seager's RBI groundout scored Cano and made it 2-0, and Danny Valencia's infield single brought in Cruz for a 3-0 lead.

Pruitt kept Seattle quiet until the fourth, but Ben Gamel's walk and a double by Guillermo Heredia led to Mike Zunino's two-base hit that extended the Mariners' lead to 5-0.

Gamel pushed it to 6-0 an inning later with an RBI single that scored Cruz.

Tampa Bay's only run came in the bottom of the sixth off former Ray Erasmo Ramirez, with Kevin Kiermaier, newly activated from the 60-day disabled list, hustled out a double.  Evan Longoria grounded out to move him to third, and Lucas Duda's sacrifice fly prevented the shutout.

Ramirez, allowed just the single run on two hits in six innings of work to earn his fifth win of the year.

Seattle capped the scoring in the ninth with a monstrous home run by Cruz that landed in the upper deck in left 482 feet from the plate, a new Tropicana Field record.

The loss dropped Tampa Bay to four games under .500 for the first time this season.

Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 4.30 ERA) will get the start Saturday, taking on Ariel Miranda (7-6, 4.75 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 with coverage on WDAE starting at 5:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.

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