Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: Florida Marlins

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What's new: Despite a major-league-low payroll, the Marlins are hanging around in the NL East, thanks to eight come-from-behind wins (six in their last at-bat). Their offense hasn't been great, but Hanley Ramirez (hitting .320) and Jorge Cantu (eight homers, 35 RBIs) are off to hot starts. Their bullpen is one of the best in the National League, but has been recently overworked because of a Wednesday doubleheader.

Key stat: The Rays went 12-6 last season in interleague play and are 30-24 under Joe Maddon, but 86-110 overall.

Connections: RHP Joe Nelson is an ex-Marlin. Cantu is an ex-Ray, and OF Chris Coghlan is an East Lake High product. Ross Gload is a former USF standout. Marlins bench coach Carlos Tosca is a Valrico resident and former King High assistant. OF Alfredo Amezega is a former St. Petersburg College standout.

Series history: The Rays went 5-1 last season against the Marlins, but Florida leads the series 35-26, including 20-12 in Miami.

Up next for Tampa Bay Rays: Florida Marlins 05/21/09 [Last modified: Friday, May 22, 2009 6:43am]

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