SEATTLE (AP) — Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon can understand a wide array of mistakes that can happen on a baseball field. However, getting picked off second base in a one-run game isn't one of them.
The Rays were trailing the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in the eighth inning. Sean Rodriguez had come into the game to run for James Loney as the Rays had runners on first and second with no outs. But Rodriguez was caught getting too big a lead off the bag and Carter Capps snapped a throw to second base that caught Rodriguez for the first out of the inning.
The lost base runner proved costly for Tampa Bay as Luke Scott doubled to drive in Wil Myers all the way from first and tie the score at 4-4. If Rodriguez had still been on base, the Rays would have taken the lead. The Mariners scored two runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead and hand the Rays a 6-4 loss.
"You're going to have frustrating moments — balls off players' gloves, whatever, that stuff happens. But you can't make that baserunning mistake there," Maddon said. "The one part of that game that really upset me was that."
Maddon said they didn't have a play on — they weren't trying to steal a bag or hit and run in that situation. Rodriguez simply got caught.
"It should never happen and it did," Rodriguez said. "Just straight messed up play. I messed up. I don't know how to explain it. I just messed up."
The Rays' lead was cut to two games over the Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles in the race for the second wild-card berth in the American League.
Missed plays defensively also contributed to the loss.
Kyle Seager hit a fly ball off Joel Peralta (2-6) deep into the gap in left-center. Though center fielder Desmond Jennings got in position for the play, the ball caromed off the heel of his glove and fell to the turf allowing Seager to reach second base on the error.
Kendrys Morales walked before Justin Smoak's fly down the right field line also deflected off the glove of a diving Wil Myers. Seager and pinch-runner Abraham Almonte scored to give the Mariners a 6-4 lead.
"How many tough losses have we had? How many games have we been in where we were a hit or a play or a pitch away? Tonight we were on the good side of it which was good to see," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.
Capps (3-3) picked up the victory in relief and Danny Farquhar pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his 13th save.
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