David Price tries to stop the Tampa Bay Rays' six-game losing streak on Wednesday when they play the middle test of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners at Tropicana Field.
Tampa Bay's recent struggles continued in Tuesday's opener, as Brad Miller hit a pair of home runs and Dustin Ackley provided the go-ahead triple in the sixth inning to power Seattle to a 5-4 win.
Miller, who only had two home runs in his first 38 career games, actually had his second multi-homer game. He did pick up his first career leadoff home run.
"He looked really good out there and swung the bat really well tonight," said Seattle interim manager Robby Thompson about Miller. "I thought he maybe had another one there in his last at-bat."
Erasmo Ramirez (4-0) earned the win despite giving up four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He did strike out seven for Seattle, which won its second straight on the heels of losing four of five.
Ben Zobrist also had a pair of home runs for Tampa Bay, which lost for the eighth time in 10 tries and has fallen four games off the pace in the American League East.
The Rays, though, still hold a two-game lead for the second wild card spot.
Chris Archer (6-5), who only allowed three earned runs in 37 innings in July, continued to struggle in August. He gave up five runs on nine hits in five- plus innings. He has allowed 10 runs in 13 2/3 innings this month.
Hoping to reverse their fortunes on Wednesday, the Rays will turn to the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner in Price, who has won his last three decisions and has surrendered just one earned run or less his last four times out.
Price did not get a decision on Friday in Los Angeles, as the Dodgers reached him for an unearned run in seven innings of a 7-6 loss. He is 6-5 on the year with a 3.17 ERA.
"We still have a lot of baseball left," said Price, who is 5-1 with a 1.40 ERA since returning from the disabled list on July 2. "I'm not sure what the standings are, but we're not playing our best right now. We played extremely well before that, and played well while I was on the DL."
Seattle, meanwhile, will counter with veteran righty Aaron Harang, who was awful his last time out. Harang lasted just two innings last Wednesday against Toronto, as he surrendered seven runs and five hits. Amazingly, he did not get a decision, as the Mariners rallied for a 9-7 win.
Harang, who has thrown two shutouts this season, is 1-3 with an 8.63 ERA over his last five starts. Overall, he is 5-10 with a 5.79 ERA.
Tampa Bay won six of 10 from the Mariners last season.