Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays-Marlins preview

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vs. Marlins

Today and Tuesday

What's new: The worst-in-the majors Marlins (13-37) have lost 12 of their past 14 games. They're also banged up, with star OF Giancarlo Stanton, 1B Casey Kotchman and 1B Logan Morrison on the disabled list. The Marlins have had to rely on youngsters, such as former Alonso High star Jose Fernandez, who starts tonight, and former Rays minor-league INF Derek Dietrich, who has three homers that have either tied a score or given Miami the lead.

Key stat: Marlins have scored a major-league low 132 runs.

Connections: OF Justin Ruggiano, RHP Chad Qualls and INF Nick Green are former Rays, as is Kotchman. OF Chris Coghlan is an East Lake High product, and Dietrich is a former Rays draft pick and minor-leaguer. Pitching coach and Tampa native Chuck Hernandez used to hold the same position for the Rays and USF. Rays SS Yunel Escobar was a Marlin for two weeks this past offseason before getting traded to the Rays for Dietrich.

Series history: The Rays went 5-1 against the Marlins last year and have won nine of the past 10. The Marlins still lead the overall series 43-42, but the Rays are 23-18 at Tropicana Field, including 11-4 since 2008.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

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