Source: Seattle Times
There was no comfort zone for Jason Vargas once his pitches stopped hitting their target.
His Mariners were already short in the bullpen after a 14-inning loss the night before and could ill afford an abbreviated stint by the left-hander. And ultimately, the reason the Mariners held on Saturday night for a 2-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays was because Vargas and his weary bullpen found a way to get it done when they had to.
Whether it was Vargas toughing out six-plus innings with base runners in all but one frame, Shawn Kelley making a phenomenal play on a bunt, or Oliver Perez, Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen throwing hitless ball, the Mariners got it done on the mound.
"I think that was why I was getting more frustrated, I kept going 3-2 to everybody, it felt like," Vargas said after notching his 10th win of the season. "To come out with the win and be able to hold that together, it was huge."
The Mariners struck out 15 more times in this game, leaving Vargas and the bullpen almost no margin for error.
"As good as we were in Kansas City, we've actually gotten away from some of the things that led us to success there offensively," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of his team's free-swinging ways.
A crowd of 18,800 at Tropicana Field kept waiting for the Rays to break on through, but the bullpen retired the final nine Tampa Bay batters to help Seattle improve to 4-2 on the road trip.
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