Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Marlins 9, Rays 3

Jackson hit hard as Rays fall to Marlins

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Joe Maddon said that in the first two games against the Marlins, "we won with our recipe" of strong pitching and sharp defense.

Neither components were clicking Sunday, and the Marlins made Tampa Bay pay with their forte: the longball.

The Marlins, who lead the major leagues with 101 home runs, hit two three-run shots off recently struggling Edwin Jackson to beat the Rays 9-3 in front of a Father's Day crowd of 28,886 at the Trop.

Though Maddon said his team's obvious disappointment in not closing out the three-game series is a significant step over previous seasons, when "if we won a couple games, it was okay," the raised expectations revealed the potential for another growth moment. For Tampa Bay (40-29), which fell 21/2 games back of Boston, Sunday marked the third time it came up short in a potential sweep-clinching game.

"We've gotta go for the kill once in a while," veteran DH Cliff Floyd said. "It's not going to happen all the time, but once in a while, you need to beat teams when they're down. … Sweeping guys is the difference between winning 90 some games and winning 88 games, (between) finishing in third place and being in the wild card."

The momentum swung early on one swing in the second from Wes Helms. Jackson, who once again struggled with his fastball command, walked two straight batters before the third baseman crushed a slider 390 feet over the leftfield wall.

Jackson labored through five innings, walking three, throwing a wild pitch and hitting a batter, giving up six runs for the third time this season. He admitted he tried to finesse too many pitches, and when he left a changeup up in the fifth, Mike Jacobs ripped another three-run homer to put the Marlins up 6-0.

Jackson has now gone five straight outings without a quality start (six or more innings, three or fewer runs) and is 2-6 in his past dozen outings since opening the season 2-0 with a sparkling 0.64 ERA. The 24-year-old right-hander insists his approach hasn't changed, "I just need to keep attacking hitters."

"It's not like it's an overt concern for me right now," Maddon said of Jackson's performance. "We just need to get him back to where he had been early on, and just make better quality pitches. Fastball command; it starts with that. And it's not been there for him."

On the other hand, Maddon called Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco's breaking ball command "uncanny." Nolasco struck out 12 in his 132-pitch effort, throwing all his pitches for strikes. Tampa Bay mustered just RBI singles by Jason Bartlett and Gabe Gross and a solo homer by Eric Hinske.

The Rays defense, which has sparkled throughout their remarkable run, had a few hiccups. For the second straight Sunday, Gross and B.J. Upton had a miscommunication in right-center, allowing a catchable ball to fall in for extra bases. Bartlett later committed a throwing error.

"To have the momentum, play so well the first two nights; to come in and pretty much not play well today, that's disappointing," Maddon said. "We have to be able to move beyond those moments."

Marlins 9

Rays 3

Jackson hit hard as Rays fall to Marlins 06/15/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 1:05pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  2. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.
  3. RHP Alex Cobb feeling safer as Rays make playoff push

    The Heater

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing in the fourth inning of the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Rays at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Fla. on Tuesday, March 21, 2017.
  4. HomeTeam 100: Players 61-70


    Jefferson wide receiver Dontavius Smith during the game between Jefferson High School and Jesuit High School at Jesuit on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, in Tampa, Fla.
  5. A second chance at life, away from the game he loved

    The Heater

    Dylan Delso, a catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays' Gulf Coast League team, displays his scar at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Fla., on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. On June 25, 2016 Delso fell backward down a flight of stairs, suffering a nearly fatal head injury that put him in a coma for eight days. He's finally back on the baseball field after a miraculous recovery.