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Rays sweep Citrus Series over Marlins

In four games, the Tampa Bay Rays showed the Miami Marlins who the best team in the State of Florida is.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins have some catching up to do in order to call themselves the best team in the state of Florida. Led by five innings of one-run baseball from righty Yonny Chirinos, the Tampa Bay Rays swept the Miami Marlins in a brief two-game interleague battle Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field, 7-2.

When these two teams met in mid May at Marlins Park, the Rays managed to shutout the Miami offense for two consecutive nights, 4-0 and 1-0. Lefty Caleb Smith, who’s been just about unstoppable since returning from the injured list in July, walked into deep trouble to begin the ballgame. After the first two runners reached base safely, Jesus Aguilar, acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers before the July 31 trade deadline period, smacked a deep sacrifice fly to left, driving home Matt Duffy. Tampa Bay was not done, as Michael Brosseau singled home Tommy Pham. In the home half of the third, Smith coughed up a two-out solo homer to Brosseau, who went on to finish 3-for-4. He has now allowed at least one homer in back-to-back starts.

Overall, the Marlins left-hander lasted five innings, giving up three runs (one earned), while walking and striking out four batters.

Brian Anderson continued his offensive production, blasting a two-out solo homer to right center, his 17th, to put Miami on the scoreboard, 3-1.

Tyler Kinley tossed a clean, perfect inning in relief, unlike Tayron Guerrero, who allowed three runs in the home half of inning seven. The first four men reached, resulting in a Travis d’Arnaud RBI single and Avisail Garcia’s two-run double. Replacing Guerrero, Kyle Keller, called up earlier this past week, recorded his first professional strikeout, punching out Mike Zunino with one out.

Miami managed to climb back a run closer in the eighth, but it was too little, too late. For just the second time since the beginning of the rivalry, the Rays swept the season series (also in 2013).

Standing at 42-67, the Marlins will travel to Citi Field, opening a four-game, three day series against the New York Mets. Monday will feature a day-night doubleheader, after Miami’s May 12 contest at New York was postponed due to inclement weather. First pitch for game one is scheduled for approximately 4:10 p.m.; first pitch for game two will follow shortly after that.

Marlins vs. Rays box score (Baseball Theater)

Fish Picks answer key

  1. Push (all players get credited with a point)
  2. Under
  3. Under
  4. No
  5. Rays