Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Stefen Romero homered, drove in three runs and scored three times and the Seattle Mariners routed the Tampa Bay Rays, 12- 5, in the opener of a three-game set.
Mike Zunino and Justin Smoak also went yard for Seattle while James Jones went 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Robinson Cano and Corey Hart both had two hits, two RBI and a run for the Mariners, who have swapped wins and losses over the last six following a five-game winning streak.
Felix Hernandez (4-1) cruised through his first six innings but couldn't get out of the seventh, allowing all four of his runs in the frame and getting ejected by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger for arguing balls and strikes with two outs. Hernandez allowed eight hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Cesar Ramos (1-2) lasted 6 2/3 innings as well despite getting torched for nine runs -- five earned -- on 11 hits. Tampa Bay's defense made four errors, including one by Ramos himself.
The struggling Rays have dropped six of seven.
Seattle did the bulk of its damage in the first three innings.
Jones ignited the offense with a leadoff double to center in the first and scored when Romero slapped an 0-2 offering the other way. Romero moved to second on Wil Myers' error in right field and came around on Cano's RBI double.
Hart then plated Cano with a drive to right and before Ramos had recorded an out, it was 3-0. Hart, thinking he had homered on the play, was thrown out at second. An umpire review confirmed that his hit did not leave the ballpark.
Zunino kept the momentum going with a solo homer to lead off the second. The Rays' defense then unraveled, as consecutive errors by Evan Longoria and Ramos led to another set of runs.
Romero's double brought home Brad Miller, Cano scored Jones with a sacrifice fly and Kyle Seager singled in a run with his liner to right. Hart then scored on James Loney's error at first.
Jones reached to start the third, moved to second on Cano's single and scored to make it 9-0 when Hart roped a long single to the wall in center.
The Rays were finally on the board when Ryan Hanigan cleared the bases with a three-run double to center. Following Hernandez's ejection, David DeJesus made it 9-4 with an RBI double to left-center off Tom Wilhelmsen.
Romero and Smoak both homered in the bottom of the eighth, and Hanigan singled in a run with two outs in the top of the ninth to result in the final margin.
Despite producing 12 runs on 14 hits, two Seattle starters -- Dustin Ackley and Miller -- went 0-for-4 ... Hanigan finished with four RBI, upping his total to 22 on the season to match him with Loney for the team lead ... Seattle finished an impressive 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position.