Marlins blow 4-run lead, drop 7th straight in 7-6 loss to the Rays

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The Miami Marlins came up short again despite their second consecutive strong offensive game.

Desmond Jennings drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 7-6 victory.

The Rays came back from an early 4-0 deficit and won their third in a row. Miami lost its seventh straight game.

"I was happy with the way we swung the bats," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We coughed up two leads. We had a couple chances to shut them down and win that ballgame. We just couldn't get them out. If we continue to swing the bats like we did the last couple days, we're going to win some of these games."

Chris Coghlan homered, tripled and drove in three runs for the Marlins. Miami scored five or more runs in a second straight game for the first time this season.

Three of Miami's past five losses have come in their opponents' final at-bat.

"Anytime you get walked off three times in a road trip, that's rough," Redmond said. "It wears on everybody. I sensed that the attitude was good in the dugout. We just didn't get it done. Everybody's frustrated, but at the same time too you've got to keep battling."

Marcell Ozuna doubled in the Miami second, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, and scored on Justin Ruggiano's single.

The Marlins made it 4-0 in the third against Jeremy Hellickson with the help of RBI triples by Derek Dietrich and Coghlan.

Kelly Johnson opened the ninth with an infield single and took second on Evan Longoria's single off Mike Dunn (1-1).

With two outs, Jennings singled against Chad Qualls.

"It's hard," Dunn said. "The team battled. It's tough."

Fernando Rodney (2-2) got the win pitching a perfect ninth.

Jennings, Luke Scott and Yunel Escobar each had three of Tampa Bay's 16 hits.

Greg Dobbs' two-out single off Joel Peralta gave the Marlins a 6-5 lead in the eighth. Singles by Scott, Jennings and Escobar off Dunn tied it in the bottom half.

Coghlan led off the sixth with his first home run of the season.

Miami starter Kevin Slowey pitched into the sixth, leaving after a double by Scott. Jose Lobaton's two-run double off Ryan Webb later in the inning tied it at 5.

"You're disappointed anytime your team gives you the lead and you can't hold on to it," Slowey said. "I thought tonight was a battle on both sides. For both pitchers, both bullpens and all the way around."

Hellickson pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up five runs and seven hits.

Johnson doubled home a run in the third. He has 25 RBIs in 22 games this month.

NOTES: Slowey is winless over his past four starts, including three losses. ... Dobbs has driven in a run in two consecutive games after going 26 in a row without one. ... Marlins INFs Joe Mahoney (right hamstring strain) and Donovan Solano (left intercostal strain) are expected to start playing in minor league games by the end of the week. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (right shoulder inflammation) could be ready to return after two more minor league starts.