The Miami Marlins just want to forget about the first game in this Sunshine State series and will try to start over in game two this evening against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Matt Moore and the Rays bullpen combined for a one-hit shutout and the Tampa Bay offense erupted in an 11-0 win on Friday night.
After allowing a single to Donovan Solano in the first inning, Moore got into a zone and wouldn't allow another hit through the rest of his seven innings of work while striking out eight batters. It was the second one-hitter thrown at Tropicana Field in the last three days after R.A. Dickey's near no-hitter on Wednesday.
"We obviously had a bunch of offense tonight, so that makes it a lot easier (to pitch)," said Moore. "It was definitely a good clean defensive game and that helped me get through seven."
The Rays got to Marlins starter Carlos Zambrano early in the game, chasing him out of the game after just two innings of work by scoring four runs and pushing Zambrano's pitch count to nearly 80 pitches.
Ben Zobrist went 2-for-3 in the game with a home run and a pair of runs scored while Desmond Jennings and Will Rhymes each had a pair of hits and combined for six RBI.
After Zambrano exited the Marlins bullpen didn't do much to pick up the starter allowing seven hits and seven runs over seven innings.
Heading to the hill for the Rays tonight will be righty James Shields.
Shields rebounded from a rough start in which he allowed seven runs (5 earned) over five innings in a loss to the New York Yankees to begin the month with a strong outing last week against the Marlins. He allowed just one earned run in 6 1/3 innings of that one while striking out five to pick up his seventh win over the season.
Shields is having a bit of a down season after a stellar 2011 campaign in which he led the league in complete games (11) and shutouts (four) on his way to a 16-12 record and 2.82 ERA.
This season Shields in 7-4 with a 4.06 ERA and has yet to finish a game. In fact Shields has not managed to go deeper than the seventh inning in only one of his last nine starts and only four of 13 starts overall this year.
Shields is 6-2 lifetime against Miami with a 3.84 ERA in 10 career starts and one relief appearance which came in 2010.
Opposing Shields will be Anibal Sanchez. Consistent is a great word to describe Sanchez. Since 2009 Sanchez has had an ERA of less than 4.00 in each season and is right on track to keep that trend going this season.
Entering play tonight Sanchez has just a 3-5 record but a 3.40 ERA to go with 74 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings pitched. In his last 12 2/3 innings pitched though, Sanchez has not been the same reliable pitcher the Marlins have come to expect.
Sanchez has allowed 11 earned runs over his last two starts and has struck out only seven batters including a season-low two in his last start against this same Rays team. In that outing Sanchez lasted six innings where he allowed four earned runs on seven hits in taking his second consecutive loss.
Miami has not had much success against Tampa Bay and will be trying to snap an eight-game losing streak to its in-state foes this evening.