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Boxberger saves 40th game as Rays beat Marlins (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Brad Boxberger didn't know what to expect coming into this season.

Logging 40 saves, and having a chance to lead the American League, was definitely not on the list.

"It's just an honor I never could have thought of coming into this year," Boxberger said. "To be able to get the opportunity here and to be able to do what we've been able to do is definitely an honor."

Boxberger reached his milestone in closing out Wednesday's 6-4 win over the Marlins, which allowed the Rays to match their 2014 win total at 77-81 with four games remaining.

LHP Drew Smyly gave the Rays another good start, allowing one run in six innings. He improved to 5-1 with a 3.24 ERA in nine starts since coming back from shoulder issues that had him on the DL for more than three months, furthering the case that he can be counted on as healthy going into 2016.

The score was 1-1 until the Rays rallied for four with two outs in the fifth, 2B Nick Franklin hitting a solo homer and Grady Sizemore a bases-loaded double.

CF Kevin Kiermaier made the highlight play of the night, leaping into the wall to snare a drive by Marlins LF Derek Dietrich (a Rays 2010 draft pick) in the seventh, earning more raves. "He's a Gold Glover and a special, special defender," Miami manager Dan Jennings said.

Boxberger is the fifth Tampa Bay pitcher to log 40 saves, joining Roberto Hernandez (43 in 1999), Danys Baez (41, 2005), Rafael Soriano (45, 2010) and Fernando Rodney (48, 2012). He also tied Los Angeles' Huston Street for the AL lead.

"It's outstanding," manager Kevin Cash said. "Given what's taken place this year, the amount of wins we have and the amount of close games that we play, it's really impressive. Box has pitched in a lot of tight ballgames."

MORE MOORE: LHP Matt Moore will get the additional start he was hoping for, working Sunday's season finale against the Blue Jays. RHP Erasmo Ramirez will pitch Friday and ace RHP Chris Archer Saturday.

Cash said the Rays wanted to be sure it was the best move overall as Moore has thrown 1081/3 innings between rehab, minor- and major-league games.

"He's had a pretty good workload his past three starts, and that's why we got him the extra day (of rest) this last go-round," Cash said. "It's more how his body was responding and his arm."

MISCELLANY: 2B Logan Forsythe was still sore after being hit by a pitch on the right foot Tuesday but was available. … Usual DH John Jaso, a free agent-to-be, played leftfield, Cash saying they wanted a look to see "if that's an option for us next year." … After clinching the AL East, the Jays were considering moving LHP David Price back from today to face the Rays, shortening his layoff until the playoffs.

Boxberger saves 40th game as Rays beat Marlins (w/video) 09/30/15 [Last modified: Thursday, October 1, 2015 7:20am]
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