ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- A canceled flight kept Ty Wigginton
out of the starting lineup. His arrival about 45 minutes before game time proved pivotial for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Wigginton's game-winning pinch-hit single with two outs in the ninth inning gave the Devil Rays a 2-1 victory over Seattle on Friday night and handed the Mariners their 12th straight road loss."It worked out all right," Wigginton said. "The first swing in two days and it came through for me."Dioner Navarro drew a two-out walk in the ninth off George Sherrill (2-3). Navarro went to third on Jorge Cantu's double against reliever Jon Huber.Wigginton, who came off the 15-day disabled list before the game after missing a month with a broken bone in his left hand, singled to left off Eric O'Flaherty. He had been on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham and spent over five hours earlier Friday at a North Carolina airport waiting for a flight."We got Wiggy on an airplane just in time," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.The Mariners team record for consecutive road losses is 15, set from June 22 to July 28, 2004. Seattle won seven of nine during a just-completed homestand following an 0-11 road trip."We just couldn't generate any offense," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "We certainly pitched well enough to win."Seth McClung (5-12) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win. The Devil Rays are 15-31 since the All-Star break.Kenji Johjima put the Mariners ahead 1-0 on a second-inning homer. It was his 14th homer of the season.Gil Meche, who was 0-4 in last eight starts, pitched eight strong innings. He gave up one run and three hits with one walk and eight strikeouts."I've been feeling really good," Meche said. "My wrist is still kind of sore. Not so much at the beginning. It just gets a little fatigued as the game goes on."Meche retired his first nine batters before Rocco Baldelli
started the fourth with a single to center. He then tied the game an inning later with an RBI single.Tampa Bay starter James Shields allowed one run and five hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked one.Devil Rays rookie right fielder Delmon Young, who made his major-league debut Tuesday, played at home for the first time. The first player selected in the 2003 amateur draft, Young served a 50-game suspension this season after throwing a bat at an umpire during a minor-league game.There were only a handful of boos when Young, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, was announced before batting in the first. He made a good first impression in the top of the first when he threw out Ichiro Suzuki at third base when the Mariners' leadoff hitter tried to advance two bases on a single by Chris Snelling."I thought if I were playing right field, it's a ball that I can make an out on," Suzuki said through translator. "I knew a good throw would have to be made for me to be out."Young said the play is "just part of playing right field.""You hope to make a good throw," he said.
Devil Rays left-hander Casey Fossum is expected to miss the rest of the season with a left shoulder injury. Right-hander Brian Stokes was recalled from Durham to start Sunday's game in place of Fossum. ... The Devil Rays also recalled right-hander Edwin Jackson from Durham. ... Hargrove said right-hander Felix Hernandez will skip two starts in September to keep the 20-year-old under 200 innings for the year. ... Maddon planned to talk with injured left-hander Scott Kazmir
(left shoulder inflammation), who used his throwing arm to play ping pong with first bseman Travis Lee before batting practice. It hasn't been decided if Kazmir will pitch again this season. ... Seattle recalled right-hander Emiliano Fruto from Triple-A Tacoma.