MIAMI GARDENS, FL - MAY 21: Javier Vasquez #23 of the Florida Marlins pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Sun Life Stadium on May 21, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
If Harold Camping had predicted what Javier Vazquez would do in Saturday's Marlins-Rays game, he probably would have had fewer believers than those who squandered their savings awaiting yesterday's supposed rapture.
Admittedly, when Javy got out of the first inning Saturday afternoon without giving up a run, we got a little nervous that the world might actually be coming to an end as predicted. But at 6:01, it was clear Camping got it wrong. Something far more shocking than doomsday happened before our eyes at Sun Life Stadium, however: Javy Vazquez pitched seven scoreless innings against the Rays to lift the Marlins to their first interleague series win this season.
Vazquez gave up just three hits and struck out seven in his strongest (and longest) outing of 2011.
The Fish backed their pitcher with plenty of run support against Rays starter David Price, scoring five times in his 6.2 innings of work.
Unfortunately, the Marlins bullpen couldn't hold on to the shutout
Mike Dunn walked the bases loaded in the eighth, and with two out, Edwin brought in Randy Choate to replace him. Choate promptly walked in the Rays' first run of the game, and Edward Mujica was called on to get the Fish out of the jam with the tying run at the plate. Mujica gave up a two-run single to Johnny Damony before he recorded the last out of the inning.
Leo Nunez allowed a single in the ninth, but otherwise shut down the Rays to add his 17th save in as many chances.
The Fish will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon.