Miami, FL – Matt Joyce and James Loney each homered as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Miami Marlins, 5-2, to complete the Citrus Series sweep for the first time in club history.
Alex Colome (1-0) had an impressive big-league debut against the lowly Marlins. He scattered five hits while allowing an unearned run over 5 2/3 frames. Colome fanned seven batters and walked just two.
The Marlins' struggles continued, as they scored their only runs on a bases- loaded walk and a passed-ball strikeout to lose a season-high ninth straight game.
Ben Zobrist contributed with two RBI for the Rays, who have won 13 of their last 14 against Miami dating back to May 22, 2011. Fernando Rodney secured his 11th save of the year with a 1-2-3 ninth.
Joyce hit a two-run home run in sixth, and Loney followed with a solo shot in the seventh to give Tampa Bay 3-1 lead.
The Marlins had a chance to pull even in the eighth after Rays reliever Joel Peralta walked two before Greg Dobbs reached on a fielding error to load the bases.
Pinch-hitter Miguel Olivo worked a walk off Josh Lueke to cut Miami's deficit to one. Lueke, though, made Rob Brantley swing and miss at strike three to end the threat.
Ricky Nolasco (3-6) yielded just three runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. The Marlins can't seem to put runs on the board for Nolasco, who has only received 19 runs of support in 12 starts.
Colome didn't make his first MLB inning easy as he walked two in a row after fanning the first batter. Marcell Ozuna followed with a single to load the bases with one out.
The right-hander went on to strike out Justin Ruggiano but didn't receive much help from catcher Jose Molina, who was charged with a passed ball and a run scored.
Colome was cruising after giving up the early run until he ran into some trouble in the fifth. Nolasco doubled and Chris Coghlan singled to put runners on the corners with one-out. He was able to get out of the jam by getting Placido Polanco to ground into a double play.
Zobrist added two insurance runs in the ninth, smacking a double to right to account for the final margin.
The Rays are an AL-best 17-10 in May ... Zobrist has a 14-game on-base streak ... The Rays have collected 65 doubles in May, a club record for any month ... Ozuna extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest active in MLB ... Colome is the seventh different starter in the Rays' last 15 games.