SEATTLE (AP) - Joe Maddon watched Michael Pineda pitch in person for the first time on Saturday. It didn't take long for the Tampa Bay manager to figure out how the rookie made the All-Star team.
The Rays managed just one hit against Pineda, who struck out 10 while leading the Seattle Mariners to a 3-2 victory.
``He is the kind of guy that on any given night you could say he has no-hit stuff,' Maddon said. ``The combination of velocity with that breaking ball; he could be very special.'
Pineda (9-7) pitched 6 1-3 innings and was charged with two runs, one earned. Jeff Gray got five outs and Brandon League finished the one-hitter to earn his 24th save, wrapping up Seattle's second victory in the last 20 games.
Tampa Bay wasted another strong start by rookie Alex Cobb, losing for the sixth time in the last nine games.
Ben Zobrist hit a tying RBI single with one out in the sixth for the Rays' only hit of the game.
Cobb struggled to contain Seattle rookie Dustin Ackley, and it cost him.
Ackley hit a two-run drive in the first inning for his fifth homer of the season. He doubled and scored on Mike Carp's single in the sixth, giving the Rays a 3-2 lead.
``Ackley has battled me well for two years now, going back to Double-A and in the fall league,' Cobb said. ``He must just see me well or something but I've always had a little trouble with him.'
The 23-year-old Cobb had a career-high nine strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings, yielding six hits and one walk in his first major league loss.
Seattle won at home for the first time since July 3, although they spent most of the month on the road.
Pineda also set a career high for strikeouts but was forced from the game when he issued consecutive walks to Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce in the seventh. Gray got out of the inning and worked a perfect eighth before turning it over to League.
Of the first nine outs recorded by Pineda, seven were by strikeout. He stunned Robinson Chirinos in the fifth by accidentally throwing an 0-2 pitch over his head and to the backstop, only to freeze Chirinos with a fastball down the middle on the next pitch for his ninth strikeout.
``With the stuff he has, it's tough to make adjustments on it,' Rays shortstop Sean Rodriguez said. ``He's got great stuff and when he is putting it where he wants it is tough.'
Tampa Bay pushed across an unearned run in the fourth to cut Seattle's lead to 2-1. Johnny Damon walked, swiped second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Josh Bard. He scored on Zobrist's groundout.
It was a hectic day for the Mariners, who traded starting pitcher Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley to Detroit for outfielder Casper Wells, pitcher Charlie Furbush, infielder Francisco Martinez and a player to be named.
Fister has received the worst run support of any pitcher in the American League this season. He is 3-12 with a 3.33 ERA, but now he'll get to pitch in a pennant race with the Tigers leading the AL Central.
NOTES: It was the 12th one-hitter in Mariners history. ... Zobrist extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Seattle expects Wells and Furbush to be in uniform in time for Sunday's series finale. ... Saturday was League's first save since July 4 at Oakland, two days before Seattle's 17-game losing streak began.
The Associated Press News Service
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