St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Endy Chavez's two-out single broke a scoreless tie and started a five-run ninth inning that helped the Seattle Mariners beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-0, in the third installment of a four- game series on Sunday.
Brad Miller smacked a two-out triple into the right-field corner on an 0-2 breaking pitch from Grant Balfour (0-2). After a Willie Bloomquist walk, Chavez's sharp grounder on another 0-2 pitch went under the glove of diving shortstop Yunel Escobar. James Jones then tripled over the head of right fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who was playing shallow, to make it a 3-0 advantage.
Robinson Cano was walked on four pitches before Kyle Seager's two-run double to right increased the cushion to five for the Mariners, winners in seven of their last eight contests.
Felix Hernandez had a career-high 15 strikeouts and allowed just four hits in seven innings in a no-decision for Seattle.
"He was sharp from his bullpen on," Mariners catcher Mike Zunino said of his battery mate. "We did a great job of mixing up pitches."
Yoervis Medina (3-1) walked one in the eighth inning to earn the win after taking over for Hernandez, who joined Nolan Ryan and Jake Peavy as the only pitchers in the last 25 years to strike out 15 or more and allow no runs in a no-decision, according to ESPN.
Rays starter Chris Archer was up for the challenge, allowing just five hits and a walk in 6 1/3 innings. He has given up just three earned runs in his last five starts.
Both teams wasted scoring opportunities.
Miller worked a one-out walk before Bloomquist and Chavez followed with singles to right to load the bases in the fifth. Jones hit a comebacker to Archer, who threw home for the second out. It wasn't pretty but Matt Joyce caught Cano's liner against the wall to keep the game scoreless.
Cole Gillespie singled to begin the seventh and was advanced to second on a sac bunt. Jake McGee replaced Archer on the mound and struck out Bloomquist, then was able to get Chavez to ground out to keep things knotted at zero.
Ben Zobrist opened the bottom half of the seventh with an infield single. Zobrist stole second then advanced to third on a wild pitch -- all with one out -- but Hernandez struck out Joyce and Escobar to end the threat.
Tampa Bay has lost 12 of its last 13 games and is a season-worst16 games under .500.
"It didn't matter what team (Hernandez) was facing today, he was going to have a dominant performance," Archer said of his counterpart.