Make us your home page
Instagram

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays beat Miami Marlins 4-2 to complete three-game sweep

MIAMI — Matt Joyce labeled the Rays' road trip "a little bit of a roller coaster."

It started low, with Tampa Bay scoring one run in two frustrating losses at Yankee Stadium. But it ended with four consecutive wins, including a sweep-clinching 4-2 victory over Miami on Sunday in front of 31,111 at Marlins Park.

"We're on a nice little roll," said right-hander James Shields, who got the win.

A big reason is Tampa Bay's offense, which has come alive, scoring 29 over the four wins and hitting five homers the past two days. That has the Rays (35-25) coming home all alone in first place in the American League East and boasting the AL's best record.

"We just had to keep swinging," Joyce said. "The offense is going to come around, and (Saturday) was a big game for us. We kind of carried it into (Sunday). Hopefully we can keep it going."

The Rays, who had a season-high 13 runs Saturday night, continued to show some pop. B.J. Upton gave Tampa Bay the lead in the first with an RBI double, and both Joyce (solo) and Elliot Johnson (two-run) hit home runs in the fourth.

"Up and down the lineup, it's just getting better," manager Joe Maddon said.

That was enough for Shields (7-4), who snapped a four-start winless streak with a strong 61/3-inning outing. He wasn't happy with his three walks, but he battled his way through, including striking out slugger Giancarlo Stanton swinging on a 3-and-2 changeup with two on to end the sixth.

"He's a wonderful athlete, he's going to be a superstar in baseball," Maddon said of Stanton. "But Shields kept making good pitches at the right moment."

The bullpen continued its spectacular work on the road trip, finishing it off with 22/3 innings. When Shields allowed his first run with back-to-back doubles in the seventh, left-hander Jake McGee came in to get the final two outs, stranding two. And in the eighth, Joel Peralta gave up a run but struck out Gaby Sanchez to strand a runner on second. Peralta, who fell behind 3-and-1, got Sanchez looking on a slider then a full-count split-finger pitch.

"You've got to get him out with your best pitch, so that's what I did," Peralta said. "I just wanted to make sure it was down in case he made contact. It worked."

The only thing that didn't work for the Rays was their dugout phone, with infielder Will Rhymes serving as their "messenger" in the seventh to get word to relievers when to warm up.

After putting two complete games together on back-to-back days, Tampa Bay enters today's off day, before a three-game series with the Mets followed by three with the Marlins, feeling like it found something on the trip.

"We started off slow, but we finished strong," Shields said. "We've got a lot of confidence."

Joe Smith can be reached at joesmith@tampabay.com.

"We started off slow, but we finished strong. We've got a lot of confidence."

James Shields, Rays starter, on the team's three-game sweep of the Marlins

Rays 4

Marlins 2

Tampa Bay Rays beat Miami Marlins 4-2 to complete three-game sweep 06/10/12 [Last modified: Monday, June 11, 2012 10:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Barts Mr Peabody the likely favorite in Derby Lane's T.L. Weaver finale

    Parimutuels

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rick and Rhonda Bartley have a date Saturday night. It may turn into a date with destiny.

  2. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?

    Blogs

    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.
  3. Florida Gators' Malik Zaire: 'This is everything to me'

    Blogs

    GAINESVILLE — We're two weeks and one day away from the Florida Gators' Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, and the quarterback position remains unresolved.

    "This is everything to me..." said Malik Zaire, the grad transfer from Notre Dame. "I have everything to prove, everything to lose."
  4. 1997 USF Bulls: Jay Mize, a 'relentless, fearless' safety and entrepreneur

    College

    USF football alumnus Jay Mize, 39, poses for a portrait at Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery located at 1611 W Swann Avenue in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Mize, a member of the first USF football team, has evolved into an immensely successful businessman and entrepreneur and he owns the Irish 31 pubs.
  5. Revisiting the inaugural 1997 USF Bulls football roster

    College

    The 1997 USF football team. (University of South Florida, USF Bulls)