SEATTLE (AP) - The Seattle Mariners made two trades over the weekend, including a seven-player, three-team deal right before the non-waiver trade deadline. They're hoping the moves will lead to a brighter future, because the present is an ugly mess.
The woeful Mariners managed just six hits against Jeremy Hellickson and two relievers Sunday, falling 8-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Seattle had a franchise-record 17-game losing streak during a 6-20 July, tying the franchise low set just last season for the fewest wins in the month. The Mariners have lost 22 of their past 29 games overall.
The epic slide led to a sell-off this weekend.
The Mariners shipped starter Doug Fister and reliever David Pauley to Detroit on Saturday morning for outfielder Casper Wells, infielder Francisco Martinez, left-hander Charlie Furbush and a player to be named. They traded left-hander Erik Bedard and a minor league pitcher to Boston in a three-team deal Sunday, netting a pair of minor league outfielders.
``It still goes back to adding talent,' Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik said. ``We got back pieces that we need to help us as we move forward. Certainly, we were focusing on acquiring offensive players.'
The Mariners have the majors' worst batting average at .225 with only 65 home runs. They also weren't much better last season.
``We made some deals that we feel can help us now and in the future,' Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. ``We move forward from there.
``We want to build something that Seattle and the fans from year to year can count on.'
Hellickson allowed one run and five hits in seven-plus innings to become the first AL rookie with 10 wins. He is the quickest Tampa Bay pitcher to 10 wins since Rolando Arroyo on June 27, 1998.
Hellickson carried a no-hitter into the sixth but Chone Figgins, batting .184, opened with a single to center and Franklin Gutierrez followed with another single. Hellickson retired the next three batters on a flyout and two foulouts.
The Mariners got off to a sloppy start and the Rays took advantage. Desmond Jennings reached on a game-opening bobble by shortstop Brendan Ryan. He stole second and went to third on a throwing error by catcher Miguel Olivo.
Evan Longoria then hit a sharp grounder to third baseman Figgins, who came home with it. Jennings, who broke on contact, scored with an evasive slide around Olivo's tag attempt.
``The aggressive mentality derived from that kind of play helps your whole group,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Jennings, recalled from Triple-A Durham on July 22, said: ``You just anticipate a ground ball being hit somewhere. I got a good jump on it. I got off far enough that I could make it on contact.'
Jason Vargas (6-10) pitched 5 1-3 innings for Seattle and was charged with six runs, four earned. He allowed nine hits, struck out six and walked one.
The left-hander is 0-5 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five starts.
``It's been a rough stretch lately,' Vargas said. ``I haven't really pitched good since coming back from the break. I'm just not making those big pitches when I need to and I'm getting the pitch count up early.'
The Mariners finally scored in the seventh, but it wasn't pretty. Mike Carp and Olivo opened with singles. Adam Kennedy forced Olivo at second, before Wells hit a blooper that dropped into shallow right center.
Carp scored but Kennedy, unsure whether it would drop, was thrown out scrambling for second.
Wells picked up an RBI on the fielder's choice, and singled in the ninth for his first hit with Seattle.
``I was using Adam Moore's bats the first couple at_bats and I didn't like the weight,' said Wells, whose own bats didn't arrive in time from Detroit.
Wells then used rookie pitcher Michael Pineda's bat for final two at_bats, with both dropping in the outfield, just one for a hit.
Furbush entered the game in the eighth and gave up a home run to Sean Rodriguez on a 1-2 pitch.
``I tried to go in off the plate, just get it in, and it wasn't in enough,' Furbush said. ``The guy's going to hit that pitch.'
Wedge said Furbush ``has a good arm. That was a fastball up for the home run. But it's good to get the first one out of the way.'
NOTES: Wells is the first player named Casper to reach the majors.
The Associated Press News Service
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