ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Chris Volstad pitched six solid innings to stop a personal six-game winless streak and the Florida Marlins got two RBIs from rookie Mike Stanton in a 6-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Volstad (4-6) gave up one and four hits, struck out three and walked four. He was 0-4 with a 4.91 ERA in six starts since earning a win against Washington on May 7.
Jorge Cantu and Wes Helms homered for the Marlins, who won two of three in the weekend series.
Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena was hitless in four at-bats, ending his streak of six games with at least one homer. He finished two games shy of the major league record held by Dale Long (Pittsburgh 1956), Don Mattingly (New York Yankees 1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (Seattle 1993).
The Rays dropped into a tie for first in the AL East with the New York Yankees, who beat Houston 9-5. Tampa Bay had held sole possession of first for the past 51 days.
Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann (6-1) allowed five runs and nine hits over six innings. He was 8-0 in 16 starts at home since losing to Boston on May 2, 2009.
The Marlins scored four times in the sixth to take a 5-1 lead. Cantu went deep, Stanton hit an RBI single and Helms added a two-run shot.
Stanton, a highly touted prospect, also singled in a run with two out in the fourth.
The Rays tied it at 1 in the bottom half on Ben Zobrist's sacrifice fly, which was caught by second baseman Dan Uggla. With Uggla running away from the infield, Carl Crawford easily beat his spinning throw to the plate.
Tampa Bay loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Volstad got grounders from Crawford and Evan Longoria to stave off the threat.
NOTES: Helms hit his first homer since Sept. 2 in Saturday's 6-5 loss to the Rays. ... Marlins LHP Nate Robertson, moved to the bullpen due to a rainout and off day, will return to rotation and start Friday's game against Tampa Bay. ... Crawford hit into a first-inning double play. It ended his stretch of 239 at-bats without grounding into a double play. ... Florida LHP Renyel Pinto (strained left hip) is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday.