By Joe Frisaro and Michael Kolligan
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
ST. PETERSBURG -- Asdrubal Cabrera continues to stay hot against the Marlins. The veteran shortstop belted a two-run homer in the eighth inning on Tuesday night that lifted the Rays to a 4-2 win over Miami at Tropicana Field.
Cabrera, who entered the night 6-for-13 against Miami this season, connected on a 2-0 Bryan Morris offering. The decisive blast came after John Jaso reached on Dee Gordon's one-out error. Tampa Bay snapped its three-game losing streak, while Miami's win streak ended at five.
"[Morris] falling behind there, 2-0, to Cabrera, gave up a pitch really in his wheelhouse, elevated," Miami manager Dan Jennings said.
Tampa Bay claimed a 2-1 lead on Mikie Mahtook's home run in the third inning off Adam Conley, and Kevin Kiermaier's sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Matt Moore allowed one run on seven hits in seven innings with three strikeouts in a no-decision.
"I've pitched against [Mahtook] before, coming up and everything," Conley said. "Sometimes I think you make a good pitch and the guy runs into it. I don't know if he was looking for it in there, I can't read his mind. If it's a good pitch and the guy hits a homer, that means he's getting paid too."
Miami claimed the early lead on back-to-back doubles by Gordon and Christian Yelich to open the first inning. But Moore settled and made it through seven innings. The Marlins tied it at 2 in the eighth on Martin Prado's RBI single off Alex Colome.
"Good win. Moore obviously set the tone. He's been really good lately. The work that he's put in and consistently to go out and be able to do that. He had a little hiccup in the first, but then he flipped it in gear and there wasn't a lot of hard contact after that," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash of his lefty's third-consecutive quality start.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Asdrubal decides it: Cabrera, whose eighth-inning blast off Morris proved to be the difference, is hitting .333 (19-for-57) in 15 Interleague games this season and .438 (7-for-16) in four games against the Marlins. Since Aug. 1, the Rays' shortstop has eight home runs and 31 RBIs, compared to six homers and 24 RBIs in the first four months combined.
"Trying to make good contact. In that situation, a 2-0 count, I'm trying to hit the ball hard," said Cabrera of his game-winning homer.
Moore of the same: After struggling in the two outings that followed his September recall, the Rays' left-hander has delivered three consecutive quality starts, holding opponents to three earned runs in 20 2/3 innings while recording 19 strikeouts and three walks. The former 17-game winner continues to bounce back from the Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss nearly all of the 2014 season.
"I'm very grateful to be back and pitching, pain free," said Moore. "With the stuff that's coming out right now? I couldn't ask for more." More >
Conley in command: Miami's 25-year-old rookie left-hander continues to impress. Conley gave up two runs in six innings, striking out five. In his last three starts, the lefty has a 1.42 ERA with 19 strikeouts in 19 innings. What hurt Conley were two one-out walks in the fourth inning. The Rays were able to capitalize and score the go-ahead run on Kiermaier's sacrifice fly.
"It's really what I like to come back to, if I'm going to get beat, then I'd like to get beat in the strike zone, attacking guys," Conley said. "I know today going into it, I didn't have my best stuff. But I still gave us a chance." More >
Prado tumbles then ties it: First, Prado went tumbling into the picnic area at Tropicana Field down the left-field line to haul in Mahtook's foul ball to end the seventh inning. The Marlins' third baseman then stepped up with the game-tying RBI single in the eighth inning, scoring Yelich from second. Yelich reached on an infield second and took second on Colome's wild pitch.
"If we play the five remaining games the way we have, play the game the right way, show the energy that we have the past two months, then good things can happen." -- Jennings, on remaining schedule
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Mahtook, who finished 1-for-4 on the night, is hitting .368 (21-for-57) in 16 games out of the two spot, compared to .208 (10-for-48) everywhere else.
FORSYTHE BRUISES FOOT
Rays' second baseman Logan Forsythe was forced to leave the game after two innings with a bruised right foot, which he suffered after being hit by a 2-2 breaking ball from Conley with two outs in the first. Forsythe returned to the field in the second inning, but was replaced by Tim Beckham to start the third. Coming into Tuesday night's action, Forsythe had hit safely in 14 of 17 interleague games this season, batting .323 with 10 RBIs.
RAYS LOSE CHALLENGE
The Rays had just taken a 4-2 lead on Cabrera's homer in the eighth, and Steven Souza Jr. tapped a grounder into the hole at short. Prado made a nice play getting to the ball, but his throw caused first baseman Justin Bour to leave the bag. Still, first-base umpire Gerry Davis called Souza out. The Rays challenged that Bour's foot left the bag early, but after a review of 57 seconds, the call was confirmed.
WHAT'S NEXT Marlins:Jarred Cosart (2-4, 2.15 ERA) makes his final start of the year on Wednesday in the 7:10 p.m. ET start at Tropicana Field. The right-hander has a 1.37 ERA in four September starts. He did get hit by a comeback liner on the left forearm in his last start, which caused him to be lifted after four innings. Cosart is 3-1 (1.24) in four starts lifetime against the Rays.
Rays:Drew Smyly (4-2, 3.26 ERA) will take the ball on Wednesday when the Rays resume their three-game series with the Marlins. The veteran left-hander has a 4-0 record and 2.70 ERA in his last seven starts, with 44 strikeouts and 12 walks in 40 innings of work.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Michael Kolligan is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.