Seager hits grand slam in eighth inning and solo homer in 10th after Rays rally for three runs off Fernando Rodney in ninth.

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kyle Seager wasn’t going to let his team lose to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.

He had pulled the Mariners out of the doldrums of a one-run deficit with a stunning eighth-inning grand slam — the team’s first since September 2013 — to give them a three-run lead.

And after watching closer Fernando Rodney and all-star second baseman Robinson Cano turn the ninth inning into a fiasco, somehow blowing that three-run lead, Seager rescued them again in the 10th.


Mariners @ Tampa Bay, 10:10 a.m., ROOT Sports

The all-star third baseman crushed a solo homer to deep center field off Rays closer Brad Boxberger for the deciding run in the Mariners’ 7-6 win, while saving Seattle from an unthinkable loss in a season already full of them.

“I knew I hit it good, and it felt good,” Seager said. “That was a very emotional game.”

And unlike Rodney, who imploded in his save opportunity in the ninth, veteran left-hander Joe Beimel pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th to pick up his first save since 2009. And, yes, Rodney was credited with a win despite putting the Mariners on the brink of defeat.

“Did we really win that game?” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I’ve been around a long time and that’s a first for me in a lot of different respects. There were a lot of weird things that went on in that ballgame.”

There was nothing weird about Seager’s performance, going 3 for 5 with two homers, two runs scored and six RBI. After a somewhat slow start to the season, Seager has a 12-game hitting streak and is batting .400 (18 for 45) over that span with a 1.182 OPS, five homers and 10 RBI.

“He hit homers off of guys that just don’t give them up,” McClendon said. “He was phenomenal tonight. He saved us. He really saved us.”

The use of “saved” wasn’t intentional, but somewhat amusing considering that the Mariners had such an awful blown save in the ninth to put Seager in that position.

It was one of those “weird” things McClendon got to witness.

Given a 6-3 lead thanks to Seager’s slam, Rodney entered the game with some room to work. He rid himself of such pleasantries by loading the bases immediately. Back-to-back singles and a hit batter brought Evan Longoria — the Rays best hitter — to the plate with no outs.

Longoria pulled a 1-2 changeup toward the left-field seats. The ball missed going over by inches, hitting off the top of the wall and bouncing back in for a double that scored two runs to make it 6-5.

As has been the case so often in his career, Rodney then looked like he would pull his Houdini act and get out of the jam.

“I was trying the best I can,” Rodney said.

He got Logan Forsythe to pop up in foul territory for the first out, and intentionally walked Asdrubal Cabrera to load the bases in hopes of a double play.

“I wanted to pitch the guy inside and get a ground-ball double play,” Rodney said. “And I did.”

It all seemed to work to plan when Jake Elmore hit a perfect double-play ball to Seager at third. He fired to Cano at second base for the lead out. Then in a stunning move, Cano was slow to get the ball out of his glove and made a poor throw five feet up the line that pulled first baseman Logan Morrison off the bag, allowing the tying run to score.

“Rodney got the ground ball to end it, and then I saw something I’ve never seen from one of the greatest second basemen of all time,” McClendon said. “I guess he just didn’t get the grip on it.”

Cano had a grip on it, but not a good one.

“I gripped it like a change­up,” Cano said, showing that he had it by three fingers. “I knew right away it was bad. I knew the guy at the plate could run. That was the worst thing there, not turning that double play.”

And yet, Seager bailed them both out and set up the Mariners for a possible series sweep on Wednesday with Felix Hernandez on the mound.

“Sometimes it’s winning ugly, but it’s a win and that’s all that counts,” McClendon said.