ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Right fielder Mitch Haniger threw out Johnny Field at the plate to end the game, and the Seattle Mariners held off the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Sunday for their 17th win in 22 games.
Waved home, Field tried to score from first on a two-out, bloop single by Carlos Gomez. Haniger rushed in and made a sliding try, scrambled to retrieve the ball and then unleashed a one-hop throw home that beat Field by a wide margin.
James Paxton struck out 10 and Kyle Seager hit a go-ahead home run for Seattle. Nelson Cruz and Mike Zunino also homered for the Mariners, who took three of four from Tampa Bay.
Paxton (6-1) gave up three runs and five hits in seven innings. The left-hander has allowed just 14 earned runs over 63 2/3 innings in going 5-0 over his last nine starts.
Edwin Diaz got defensive help from Haniger to post his 23rd save.
Seager gave Seattle a 5-3 lead on his seventh-inning drive off Jose Alvarado (0-3).
Wilson Ramos cut the Rays’ deficit to 5-4 with an RBI single in the eighth off former Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome. Tampa Bay, which stopped an eight-game skid Saturday, got a homer from C.J. Cron.
Seattle is 21-9 in one-run games, while Tampa Bay dropped to 9-17.
Zunino ended Nathan Eovaldi’s day by sending the right-hander’s 102nd pitch into the left field seats for a two-run homer that made it 3-all in the sixth.
Eovaldi, making his third start since returning from a second Tommy John surgery in August 2016, allowed three runs and four hits.
After Field doubled in the third and later scored on a grounder by Mallex Smith, Cron had a solo drive and Jake Bauers hit an RBI double that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 in the fourth.
Cron has three hits — all homers — in his last 24 at-bats.
Cruz homered for the second consecutive game, a second-inning solo shot.
Rays shortstop Daniel Robertson experienced left hamstring tightness running out a grounder in the first and was replaced by Joey Wendle.
Mariners: Manager Scott Servais said RHP Dan Altavilla has a right forearm flexor mass strain and will be “down for a little while.”
Rays: Gomez struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth, one day being involved in a collison with Bauers while making a diving catch on a foul ball. Gomez said his shin and shoulder are both a little sore.
Rays SS Adeiny Hechavarria (right hamstring strain) is scheduled to play for Class A Charlotte on Monday and will be joined by CF Kevin Kiermaier (right thumb torn ligament) Tuesday.
Mariners RF Ben Gamel made diving catches on balls hit by Cron (fifth inning) and Ramos (sixth).
Mariners: RHP Wade LeBlanc (1-0) will face Angels LHP Andrew Heaney (3-4) Monday night.
Rays: Tampa Bay will have a bullpen day Monday night against Toronto RHP Sam Gaviglio (2-1).