Published November 20, 2014
James Shields won for the first time in five starts while Elliot Johnson smacked a two-run homer and Matt Joyce added a solo shot as the Tampa Bay Rays handed Miami its sixth straight loss with a 4-2 win over the Marlins in the finale of the three-game Citrus Series.
Shields (7-4), who had allowed 25 runs -- 19 earned -- over his last 25 2/3 innings coming in, fanned five and surrendered a run on four hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings.
"Obviously we got a win and a nice little sweep," Shields said. "I felt pretty good for the most part. Overall it was a good start, better than the last few."
B.J. Upton scorched an RBI double among his two hits, while Ben Zobrist slapped a pair of hits and scored once for the Rays, who have defeated the Marlins seven consecutive times, tying the franchise's longest winning streak against an NL opponent.
Anibal Sanchez (3-5) was touched up for four runs on seven hits and three walks over six frames for Miami, which was 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
"We really were pretty flat at the plate all weekend," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said.
The Marlins have been outscored 43-10 and are 6-for-47 with runners in scoring position during the losing skid.
They were 0-for-7 in this one before Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez smacked back-to-back doubles to pull Miami within 4-1 in the seventh inning.
Miami pushed a two-out run across in the eighth off of Joel Peralta. Giancarlo Stanton singled and moved to second with Morrison at the plate on defensive indifference. Morrison then poked a base hit to right, scoring Stanton to cut the deficit to 4-2.
But Fernando Rodney worked around a two-out single to notch his 18th save of the season. He lowered his ERA to 0.94.
After a month of May which saw the Marlins go 21-8, Miami has been anything but stellar in June, sputtering to a 2-7 start.
The Rays struck first with a run in the opening frame and added three more in the fourth.
Upton smoked an RBI double into the gap in left-center to make it 1-0 after an inning of play.
Joyce cracked a one-out solo shot over the wall in right-center and after Zobrist singled, Johnson stroked a two-run blast into the bullpen in right for a 4-0 Rays advantage in the fourth.
The Rays won seven consecutive contests against the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2004-07. Tampa Bay has outscored Miami, 40-13, during the winning streak...Tampa Bay went 1-for-5 with RISP and left four men on base.