Closing pitcher Fernando Rodney #56 of the Seattle Mariners is removed from the game by manager Lloyd McClendon #23 in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field on May 13, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. The Rays defeated the Mariners 2-1. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Joyce delivered the game-winning single in the top of the ninth inning to help the Tampa Bay Rays rally past the Seattle Mariners, 2-1, to even this three-game series at a game apiece.
The Mariners carried a 1-0 lead into the ninth after Hisashi Iwakuma tossed an eight-inning gem, limiting the Rays to just four hits while striking out five. Fernando Rodney (1-2) eyed the save but did not have his best stuff, serving up the game-tying home run to David DeJesus to start the frame.
After Rodney retired the next two batters, James Loney and Desmond Jennings had consecutive singles for Joyce, who looped a 1-0 offering into center to plate the winning run. Rodney then walked Yunel Escobar and was replaced by Danny Farquhar, who fanned Ryan Hanigan on three pitches to leave the bases loaded.
"You have to come in and make good pitches," said Rodney. "They beat me tonight. I didn't throw a lot of strikes."
David Price (4-3), who had thrown 97 pitches through eight, toed the slab for his ninth inning of work after the heroics in the top of the frame and struck out two in a 1-2-3 stanza to secure the win.
Price fanned 12 in total and allowed just a run on six hits in his second complete-game of the season.
Joyce had three hits and DeJesus had two for Tampa, which had lost six of seven entering Tuesday's matchup.
"The guys battled right to the very end, that's the one thing I can say about all this," said Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon. "We play nine innings hard every night."
James Jones doubled to start the home half of the first inning and scored on a pair of grounders. Stephen Romero moved him to third and Robinson Cano plated the speedy center fielder for an early 1-0 lead.
Cano and Dustin Ackley had two hits apiece for the Mariners, who failed to put another run across.
Iwakuma went eight scoreless innings for the second straight start. Last year's breakout star has allowed just four runs in 22 2/3 innings since returning from a torn tendon in his finger suffered in spring training ... Seattle went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.