Justin Smoak hit a two-run double in the eighth inning and Danny Farquhar notched his 13th save as the Mariners defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Friday night at Safeco Field. Seattle improved to 64-77 and dealt Tampa Bay a blow in its attempt to claim a wild card spot.
Raul Ibanez homered for the second straight game, his 27th, as the Mariners snapped a six-game losing streak at home.
The Rays knotted the game 4-4 in the eighth on an RBI double by Luke Scott, but Carter Capps wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam to set up Smoak’s clutch hit.
The Rays made two big miscues late. In the eighth, center fielder Desmond Jennings dropped a drive by Kyle Seager for a two-base error. In the top half Capps, who collected the win, picked off pinch runner Sean Rodriguez with two on and nobody out.
Farquhar notched his 13th save in 14 chances.
The series resumes Saturday at 6:10 p.m. LHP James Paxton will make his major league debut for Seattle working opposite LHP Chris Archer (8-6, 3.14). Paxton led the Tacoma Rainiers in wins, starts, innings and strikeouts.
NOTES: Ibanez needs two to tie Ted Williams’ 1960 record of 29 home runs, most in a season by a 41-year old . . . Hisashi Iwakuma took a no-decision, working 5.2 innings. Iwakuma is 5-2 with a 2.99 ERA in his last 11 starts . . . Kyle Seager extended his hitting streak to eight games.