MIAMI -- A brief blister scare was about the only thing Alex Cobb had to worry about on Tuesday night. In the first inning, the Rays' right-hander was checked on by the trainer, but he continued.
Cobb made it through six shutout innings, and backed by Logan Morrison's home run in the third, the Rays defeated the Marlins, 3-1, at Marlins Park. Tampa Bay took both Citrus Series games in Miami, and the series continues with two more at Tropicana Field on Wednesday and Thursday.
"Cobb was awesome," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Threw the ball really well."
Cobb improved to 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA lifetime against the Marlins.
"I'm encouraged every time out, I really am," said Cobb, who has struggled to find his pre-Tommy John surgery form. "I think that was disappointing me early on. I was expecting it to show up when I figured a key part of my mechanics out, and then just be there from that moment on. And it's just not going to be like that. It's going to be a little bit better every time out. Eventually I won't even know it's all there, and we're just pitching, not thinking about anything else."
Marlins right-hander Edinson Volquez was lifted after 4 1/3 innings with a right thumb blister. Volquez had a wild night, striking out nine, but also issuing a career-high eight walks, which is tied with St. Louis' Carlos Martinez for the most in the Majors this year. Per Elias, Volquez is the first pitcher in MLB's modern era (since 1900) to strike out nine and walk eight in fewer than five innings.
"This is really bad right now," Volquez said. "I had it before, but not this bad. I've never missed a start. We'll see the next couple of days if I can go."
The Marlins had a strange night overall, as their pitchers combined to strike out 15, but walk 11.
Morrison blistered his two-out home run to right field. Per Statcast™, the drive was projected at 393 feet and 109.6 mph. The exit velocity of the blast matched his third hardest-hit homer in the Statcast™ Era.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Strikeouts, walks, blister: Volquez left with a 2-0 count on Steven Souza Jr., and Dustin McGowan ended up walking him, but the base on balls was charged to Volquez, giving him eight. The three Volquez were charged with in the fifth proved costly, because McGowan yielded a Tim Beckham sacrifice fly to center and Derek Norris delivered an RBI single. More >
Stanton's sizzling double: The Marlins got a big jolt from Giancarlo Stanton, who delivered an RBI double in the eighth inning, making it a two-run game. With Martin Prado on second, Stanton smoked a liner into left-center off Erasmo Ramirez. It was the second hardest hit in the Majors this year. According to Statcast™, the double had an exit velocity of 118.7 mph. The hardest-hit ball is a home run by the Yankees' Aaron Judge, which registered at 119.4 mph off the bat.
Stanton's RBI generated the club's only run in the finale of a homestand Miami finished 1-4. The club scored a total of five runs in the four losses.
"Bad homestand," Stanton said. "No energy. We've got to pick up the pace a little bit, in terms of being on the field. I'd say more of a determination to get out of what we're in. We see how the game is going on and we seem to fall short. The pace hasn't been good."
"Obviously, right now, it's just a little bit of a frustrating time for us. Our bullpen has been taxed, and we haven't been able to score runs, other than the one game against Pittsburgh [when they scored 10]. It's not working on either side right now. We're going to have to regroup and keep going." -- Marlins manager Don Mattingly, after his team's sixth loss in seven games
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When Marcell Ozuna singled with one out in the sixth, he extended a streak. He has hit safely in all 19 of his career games against the Rays. It's the longest hitting streak against the Rays since Derek Jeter of the Yankees had a 20-game streak from 2004-05.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Blake Snell (0-2, 3.42 ERA) will start for the Rays when the home-and-home Citrus Series between the Rays and Marlins shifts to Tropicana Field on Wednesday for a 7:10 p.m. ET contest. Snell has quality stuff, he but has struggled all season with his control.
Marlins: The Marlins open a five-game road trip with the continuation of the Citrus Series on Wednesday at Tropicana Field. Adam Conley (1-2, 6.86 ERA) looks to bounce back after his worst career start -- giving up nine runs in 1 2/3 innings in a loss to the Pirates.