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Sunshine State series up for grabs after marathon at the Trop

The Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays will play the rubber match of their three-game series this afternoon at Tropicana Field.

Sunday's game may come down to which team still has something left in the tank after Saturday's 15-inning marathon.

Scott Cousins' RBI triple off of Brandon Gomes in the top of the 15th put the Marlins up 4-3 and proved to be the decisive blow as Miami held on in the bottom of the inning.

Ryan Webb pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win and Heath Bell struck out the side in the bottom of the 15h to record his 14th save of the season for Miami.

Jose Reyes went 3-for-7 with two RBI in the game and Cousins also had three hits in seven at bats with a double and the game winning triple.

The Marlins will be hoping to carry this momentum forward as they had lost nine of their previous 10 entering Saturday's game. The win also snapped an eight-game losing streak against Tampa Bay for the Fish.

Gomes took the loss for Tampa Bay which squandered a strong start from James Shields, who pitched 7 2/3 innings, giving up three unearned runs on eight hits while striking out five.

Carlos Pena and Jose Molina each went 2-for-4 with Molina bringing in two runs on a fifth inning home run in the loss for Tampa Bay.

After using seven pitchers in Saturday's contest Tampa Bay will be looking for Sunday's starter Alex Cobb to eat up innings.

It looked like Cobb would be yet another gem to come out of the Tampa Bay minor league system when he won his first two starts after being called up in mid-May.

Since those first two starts though Cobb has not been able to find his way back into the win column with losses in each of his last three starts. During that time his ERA has risen from 2.25 to 4.70 and his record has fallen to 2-3 overall this season.

His worst start of the season came in his last time out when he was roughed up by the New York Mets, who scored six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits. Cobb did manage to tie a season-high by striking out six batters during his 6 2/3 innings of work in the start.

This is not Cobb's first season in the majors as he also made nine starts scattered across the 2011 season. During the 2011 campaign he got his first taste of interleague play pitching 6 1/3 innings and allowing two runs on three hits to claim a win over the Marlins.

June has been kind to Josh Johnson, who will be making the start for the Marlins in Sunday's series finale.

In a season of more ups than downs, Johnson has started to return to the form that helped him lead the majors in ERA in 2010. Johnson has won four of his last five decisions and the Marlins are a 7-1 in his eight starts since May began, including a perfect 6-0 in six starts in May.

The hard-throwing right-hander has been even better in June with a 1.84 ERA in two starts including a dominating outing against Boston his last time out when he allowed just one run over seven innings on four hits.

"Johnson continued to throw the ball pretty well," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "And he was going against a lineup that can hit. He handled it pretty well."

This will be Johnson's sixth career start against Tampa Bay a team that he has had no trouble handling in the past. In the previous five starts Johnson is 2-0 with a 2.88 ERA against the Marlins' in-state foes.

Another win on Sunday would give Johnson three interleague wins in one season for the first time in his career.