Mike Zunino helps Rays slip past Mariners

Mike Zunino’s three-run homer against his former club highlighted Tampa Bay’s four-run fourth inning as the visiting Rays edged the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Thursday night to open a four-game series.

A Seattle catcher from 2013 to 2018, Zunino lofted a 379-foot homer to left off Mariners starter Robbie Ray (2-3) — his third long ball of the season and second in three days.

Tampa Bay’s Harold Ramirez went 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base, and Yandy Diaz had a single and a walk to extend his on-base streak to 16 games.

In a 5 1/3-inning start, Rays left-hander Shane McClanahan (2-2) yielded two runs on three hits. He struck out five and walked two.

The Rays won for the fourth straight time to start their 10-game road trip, and they have nine victories in their past 12 games. They improved to 7-3 on both the road and in one-run games.

Jesse Winker and Adam Frazier homered for the first time and Eugenio Suarez had an RBI single for Seattle, which lost its fourth straight and fell to 6-11 against winning clubs.

The visitors produced four runs in 6 2/3 innings against Ray, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner. He allowed seven hits, struck out five and walked one.

Tampa Bay broke through in the fourth when Manuel Margot’s leadoff bunt single and stolen base ended with him scoring on Ramirez’s single. Isaac Paredes’ single to shallow center set up Zunino’s drive to left for a 4-0 lead.

In the fifth, Winker swatted a long ball for the Mariners’ first hit off McClanahan, a solo shot to center.

Seattle got to McClanahan again in the sixth on Suarez’s single off Jason Adam, but the reliever fanned Julio Rodriguez looking and got Winker to fly out to strand runners on the corners.

In a lefty-on-lefty matchup in the seventh, Frazier hit Colin Poche’s first pitch for a high homer just inside the right-field foul pole to put it at 4-3.

Adam, Poche and Brooks Raley tossed 3 2/3 innings of relief. The trio allowed two hits and one run while striking out three and issuing a walk.

Raley, a left-hander, crafted a perfect ninth and ended the game by snaring a one-hop comebacker by Luis Torrens to post his second save in as many chances.

–Field Level Media

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