ST. PETERSBURG — Tim Beckham broke out the funky spikes Thursday night, a pair of blue high tops the color of those jerseys the Rays wear on home Sundays.
Manager Kevin Cash gave his shortstop a hard time before the game about his choice of footwear.
"I told him, 'You better do something to pull those off,' and he told me not to worry about it," Cash said. "He was right. I was wrong."
Beckham continued to be a big bat in the Rays' lineup, powering them to a 5-1 victory against the Marlins with a pair of two-run home runs in front of a season-low 10,118 at Tropicana Field.
The Rays (15-15) took three of four against the Marlins (12-15) this week to claim the annual Citrus Series. Apparently, the winning team gets a trophy. Apparently, no one knows who has the trophy.
Doesn't matter. The Rays basked in the glow of Beckham's kicks.
"You got to have a lot of confidence if you're going to wear those shoes that he wore tonight on the field," Cash said.
Beckham's second career two-homer night — his first was April 26 at Baltimore — backed another strong outing by Matt Andriese (2-1), who delivered his second straight seven-inning start. It came at a good time, too, after the bullpen had to pick up 12 outs the previous night. He tied his career high with eight strikeouts and threw a season-high 113 pitches.
"It's kind of what I pride myself off of," Andriese said. "I keep saying to go deep in the games, and it's kind of finally showing, and I'm happy about that."
"I like the way Matt was able to give us some length," Cash said. "We needed it."
Especially on a night when the bullpen was without Erasmo Ramirez, who is on paternity leave.
Andriese had one tough inning, and that was the third when he did not retire a batter … and did not allow a run.
The first two batters reached on singles. Andriese got Martin Prado to ground to third base, where Daniel Robertson tried to start a triple play. The rookie stepped on third for one out and threw to second for the second. But Brad Miller's relay to first base was not in time.
"That was huge, with nobody out there it was a great play," Andriese said. "Things could have spiraled there, give up one or two there. Huge play by D-Rob, to have attempted that double play was sweet."
Andriese then walked Christian Yelich to again put runners on first and second. And like he did against Prado, Andriese got Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton to ground to Robertson, who stepped on third for the inning-ending forceout.
The rest was up to Beckham, who homered in the second and fourth innings.
"Just trying to see the ball and hit the ball," Beckham said. "Not trying to do too much. Just trying to see a pitch in the zone and not swing at pitches out of the zone or swing at his pitches and get myself out, so I wanted to see good pitches in the zone to hit and put a good swing on it."
Beckham is hitting .338 with six home runs, 10 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs in his past 17 games.
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"Beck's having a good time out there," Cash said. "He's obviously gotten some consistency. He's got into that everyday routine, that everyday role.
"You know, he probably hasn't had too many of those opportunities up here at the big-league level, and he's making the most of it right now. He's helping us win games, and that's probably the most important thing."