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Mariners Preview: Rays Are Desperate For Wins On The Road

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Evan Longoria looks on in disbelief (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Evan Longoria looks on in disbelief (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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(1090 The Fan / Sports Network) - To say the The Tampa Bay Rays are hungry for a win is an understatement. In fact, Joe Madden’s club won’t be satisfied with anything short of a sweep when the Rays visit Seattle Friday as part of the final leg of their 10-game western road trip.

The Rays just split a four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and suffered a 6-2 loss on Thursday at the Big A. David Price was roughed up in the start and gave up six runs and 11 hits in seven innings.

Tampa simply cannot afford those types of losses from where the team sits in the American League Wild Card race. Right now the Rays are clinging (desperately) to a two-and-a-half game lead over their division rivals, the New York Yankees, for the second Wild Card slot.

When the Rays return home, they get a midweek series against the first place Boston Red Sox before hopping back on a plane to visit the Minnesota Twins. After the Minneapolis series, Tampa only plays teams in the playoff hunt with the exception of the Toronto Blue Jays.

With that outlook, the Rays will be treating the Seattle games as “must-win,” which can’t be too comforting for the Mariners.

Seattle has lost four of five games and dropped a 7-6 decision in 13 innings Thursday at Kansas City. Mike Moustakas’ solo homer in the bottom of the 13th inning lifted the Royals to victory.

Hisashi Iwakuma gets the call Friday for the M’s and is 12-6 with a 2.92 ERA in 29 starts this season. Iwakuma did not record a decision in his only start against Tampa Bay, allowing just two runs through six innings.

Tampa Bay recently took two of three matchups with Seattle from Aug. 13-15 at Tropicana Field.

-Chris Coyle, 1090 The Fan

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Sports Network contributed to this report.)

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