EditorsNote: Tweaks 1st, 7th, 11th and last graf
Cameron Maybin homered and rookie right-hander Pablo Lopez earned the win as the visiting Miami Marlins defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.
Miami has won seven of its past nine games, including four in a row. The Marlins also clinched their third straight series win with the chance to go for a sweep.
In the seventh inning, Maybin pulled a would-be double that went just foul down the left field line. Two pitches later, he slugged a line-drive homer to left that had an exit velocity of 108 mph.
Lopez (2-1) allowed just three hits, one walk and one run in six innings, striking out six.
Miami got one scoreless inning each from relievers Adam Conley and Drew Steckenrider.
Kyle Barraclough, who missed Friday’s game due to an illness, allowed a solo homer in the ninth to Ji-Man Choi but finished for his 10th save of the season.
Tampa Bay’s Ryan Yarbrough (8-5) took the loss, allowing two hits, two walks and two runs in four innings. He followed reliever Ryne Stanek, who started the game with a scoreless first inning.
The Rays lost shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, a former Marlins player, who was removed due to an oblique injury. That forced the Rays to shuffle their infield, including placing Gold Glove outfielder Carlos Gomez at second base for just the second time in his major league career.
The Rays already were without starting center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who suffered a bone bruise in his right foot on Friday. To add depth in the outfield, Tampa Bay recalled Justin Williams — its eighth-ranked prospect — from Triple-A Durham and optioned left-handed reliever Hoby Milner to the same team.
With two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, pinch hitter Williams grounded into an inning-ending double play in his first big league plate appearance.
Miami opened the scoring with two runs in the fourth. Leadoff batter Justin Bour worked a walk after falling behind 1-2 in the count. Starlin Castro fell behind 1-2 and then singled, and Martin Prado smashed an RBI double off the wall in left, also on a 1-2 pitch.
Miguel Rojas capped the rally with an RBI groundout.
Tampa Bay cut its deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth on Joey Wendle’s fifth homer of the season. Wendle hit the ball over the 404-foot sign in straightaway center.
Maybin led off the seventh with his third homer of the season. Over his past three games, he is 5-for-11 with two homers.
—Field Level Media