Miami, FL – Ben Zobrist homered twice, part of a 3-for-3 performance that included season-highs of four RBI and four runs scored, as Tampa Bay blitzed Miami, 13-4, in the second of a three-game interleague set.
Elliot Johnson collected four hits and drove in three, while Jose Molina hit safely twice, scored twice and also drove in three runs for the Rays, who have won three in a row.
"It's been a long couple of months for me to get things going," said Zobrist. "But I felt good out there tonight and hopefully this is a sign of things to come."
Matt Moore (3-5) did enough to win, allowing five hits and four runs with nine strikeouts over six innings.
Justin Ruggiano slugged a three-run homer and Giancarlo Stanton added an RBI for the Marlins, losers in five straight and six of eight.
Carlos Zambrano (4-4) was dented in defeat for five hits and seven runs over just 2 1/3 frames. He departed due to lower back stiffness.
"I know he wanted to stay out there and pitch and I appreciate that," said Miami manager Ozzie Guillen about Zambrano. "But at the same time, I'd rather lose a game than lose a player."
Zobrist went deep in the third inning, putting Tampa ahead 7-0 with a two-run shot and hastened Zambrano's exit. He did so again in the fifth off Chad Gaudin to make it a nine-run spread, then Miami sprang to life.
In the home sixth, Jose Reyes worked a leadoff walk and Hanley Ramirez singled with one out ahead of Stanton's run-scoring infield single. Ruggiano followed with his homer and it was 9-4.
But the visitors quashed any hopes of a comeback with three in the eighth thanks to Molina's two-run double and a Desmond Jennings RBI double-play grounder. The final score was produced in the ninth when Johnson singled home Hideki Matsui, who began the frame with a pinch-hit double.
Tampa Bay broke open the game with a five-run second inning. The first five batters reached base, resulting in a two-run single from Johnson and a one-run base hit by Molina. A Moore sacrifice bunt then scored Johnson, Molina advanced to third on a Will Rhymes grounder and scored on an infield hit from Jennings.
Zobrist posted his first multi-homer game since September 25, 2008 at Detroit...Zambrano worked his shortest outing since June 30, 2011 for Chicago against San Francisco...Tampa Bay improved its interleague record to 39-42 against the Marlins, thanks to its sixth straight win over Florida/Miami...The Rays also improved to 18-25 on south Florida's Atlantic Coast.