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Rays-Marlins preview

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vs. Marlins

Tonight and Tuesday in Miami; Wednesday-Thursday at Tropicana Field

What's new: The Marlins (28-28) have surprised some with a strong start, though they fell back to third place in the NL East after getting swept at home by the Braves over the weekend. They've lost ace RHP Jose Fernandez, an Alonso High product and reigning NL rookie of the year, to Tommy John surgery. But the rest of the rotation has been solid, and Miami's offense — led by OF Giancarlo Stanton (.311, 16 homers, 51 RBIs) — ranks second in the NL in runs. Free-agent acquisition C Jarrod Saltalamacchia is on the seven-day concussion DL.

Key stat: Though Miami has lost four straight at home, it's 20-11 at Marlins Park.

Connections: Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, a Tampa native, held the same position with the Rays and is a former USF assistant. SS Yunel Escobar and RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo are ex-Marlins.

Series history: The Rays won all four meetings last season and have taken five straight and 13 of 14. The Marlins lead the overall series 150-141.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Rays-Marlins preview 06/01/14 [Last modified: Sunday, June 1, 2014 6:19pm]
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