Rays notes: Cabrera homers sparks 6-4 win over Marlins
SS Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run go-ahead homer in the eighth inning Tuesday that gave the Rays a 4-2 win over the Marlins.
But he had a bigger smile talking about his dazzling play in the third inning when he ranged to his right and made a jump throw to nail speedy Dee Gordon at first.
"That reminded me of the young Cabrera from years ago," Cabrera said. "That was a nice play. He's really fast."
Cabrera's hit kept the Rays from a longer or even a lost night. They improved to 76-81, one win shy of their 2014 total, though they remained in last place in the AL East.
LHP Matt Moore gave the Rays seven strong innings, allowing only a first-inning run, and impressive rookie OF Mikie Mahtook's seventh home run and a bases-loaded sac fly by Kevin Kiermaier gave them a 2-1 lead going to the eighth.
"We talk about (Mahtook) it seems like every day," manager Kevin Cash said. "He does something daily to wow us, impress us, so good for him."
Relievers Xavier Cedeno and Alex Colome teamed to give up the lead. Cedeno allowed a one-out single to Christian Yelich, Colome a wild pitch then an RBI single to Martin Prado.
But after pinch-hitter John Jaso reached on Gordon's error, Cabrera took it from there, delivering his 14th homer.
"In that situation, I'm trying to hit the ball hard," he said. "That feels so good."
LOGAN'S RUN: 2B Logan Forsythe left an inning after being hit on the right foot by an Adam Conley pitch but appeared to escape serious injury. "He's going to be pretty sore, I would imagine," Cash said. "The good thing is so far the X-rays were negative. We think it's just a bruise and it's more day to day."
ODD WIN: Colome ended up with the win after blowing the save. That was his fifth blown save in September, the first Ray to have five in any month and first in the majors to do so since Jose Arredondo for the Angels in August 2008.
MIX AND MATCH: While the Rays want to look further at their younger players, Cash said he has an obligation to the veterans and will talk with them about how much they want to play over the final week. That would seem particularly relevant for free agent-to-be Cabrera. "We don't feel it's fair to just knock them out of the lineup when they stayed out there and grinded it out and put together some good seasons," Cash said.
FAMILIAR FACE: Dan Jennings, who moved from Marlins GM to manager in May, said he enjoyed returning to the Trop, having spent eight years in the Tampa Bay front office starting as the original scouting director. "This city, this organization has a special meaning to me because it kind of began a new chapter in my baseball life," he said. "And we had a chance to start from ground zero and watch it go to something."
MISCELLANY: The crowd of 9,150 was the Rays' second smallest of the season and seventh under 10,000. ... Kiermaier picked up his 14th assist, most among MLB centerfielders. ... The Rays improved to 44-48 in an MLB-most 92 games decided by one or two runs. ... During batting practice, LHP Drew Smyly wore the wrestling-style belt he won as champ of the team's 2014 fantasy football league. ... C Curt Casali (left hamstring strain) was on the field early again, "absolutely" trying to play before Sunday's finale.