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What's new: The Marlins (31-26) had been one of the hottest teams. After starting 8-14, they went a majors-best 21-9 in May. But this week they were swept at home by the Braves, their first series loss since April 24-26. SS Jose Reyes, signed during the offseason, has been on a tear; he had a 15-game hitting streak end Wednesday. RF Giancarlo Stanton has power (14 homers, 41 RBIs), and OF Justin Ruggiano (5-for-13, one homer) has provided a spark since being called up from Triple A on May 27. RHP Heath Bell has returned to the closer's role after a brief demotion.

Key stat: Miami leads the National League with 39 quality starts.

Connections: Ruggiano, LHP Randy Choate and RHP Chad Gaudin are former Rays, as is manager Ozzie Guillen. Rays RHP Burke Badenhop is a former Marlin and INF Sean Rodriguez a Miami native.

Series history: The Marlins lead overall 42-37, including 25-17 in Miami. But the Rays have won three of the past four season series, including 4-2 in 2011.

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Up next: Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins 06/07/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 7, 2012 10:45pm]
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  1. 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.
  2. Rays morning after: Steven Souza Jr.'s status is a major concern


    The Rays will know more about the status of RF Steven Souza Jr. later today after reviewing results of a scheduled MRI and exam of the left hip he strained in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.

    Steven Souza Jr. strained his left hip in Wednesday's game on an awkward slide into second.
  3. Lightning's Ondrej Palat happy with new deal, new talent

    Lightning Strikes

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat (18) works to play the puck against the Winnipeg Jets during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Tuesday evening (01/03/17).
  4. 2008 playoff thoughts in bloom for Rays; Souza injury not expected serious in loss to A's

    The Heater

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Before the 7-2 loss to the A's and Steven Souza Jr.'s hip injury, or at least scare, Wednesday started with good vibes in the Rays' clubhouse.

    Rays rightfielder Steven Souza Jr. hurts his hip after an awkward slide into second base during the first inning.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways on Wednesday's Rays-A's game

    The Heater

    Jake Faria wasn't going straight to Cooperstown at 500-0, so a day like Wednesday was going to happen, when he made too many mistakes. The challenge now is how he responds. Incidental casualty: His first loss in nine starts since getting engaged.