MIAMI -- Ichiro Suzuki, going strong at age 42, is energizing the Marlins. The veteran outfielder had four singles, one RBI and a run scored on Monday night, and he was in the heart of the club's eighth-inning rally that lifted Miami to a 7-6 win over the Rays at
MIAMI -- Ichiro Suzuki, going strong at age 42, is energizing the Marlins. The veteran outfielder had four singles, one RBI and a run scored on Monday night, and he was in the heart of the club's eighth-inning rally that lifted Miami to a 7-6 win over the Rays at Marlins Park.
Trailing by a run in the eighth, Cole Gillespie lifted a game-tying sacrifice fly, and Martin Prado's RBI groundout brought in the go-ahead run. The Marlins claimed the first of their four-game, two-city Citrus Series with Tampa Bay.
• Ichiro turning back clock at age 42
"That's part of the reason he's here," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Ichiro. "He's a perfect guy for us, from the standpoint, he's always prepared. He's a leader with our guys."
The Rays entered the night tied with the Orioles for the Major League lead in home runs with 63. They tacked on two more through Brandon Guyer, who was a triple shy of the cycle, and Taylor Motter, each hitting a solo shot. Motter added an RBI double in the seventh that gave the Rays a 6-5 lead. Marcell Ozuna stayed hot with a solo shot and three hits for Miami.
Both starters struggled and surrendered five earned runs. Miami's Wei-Yin Chen was tagged for two home runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, while Tampa Bay's Matt Moore gave up 10 hits in five innings.
A.J. Ramos worked around a one-out single by Brad Miller in the ninth to lock down his 14th save in as many chances.
"It was a pretty good game overall," Prado said. "We came back, they came back. At the end, we got the run, and A.J. closed the door. It was a battle, for sure."
• Yelich used as pinch-hitting decoy vs. Rays
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ichiro remains a hit: No Christian Yelich in left field, no problem for the Marlins. Ichiro, starting his third straight game because of Yelich's back spasms, collected three hits off Moore and four hits on the night. In the past three games, Ichiro has 10 hits, including a pair of four-hit games. Ichiro now has 2,960 career hits, leaving him 40 shy of 3,000, and is closing in on Sam Crawford (2,964) for 31st place all time. The Marlins actually used Yelich as a decoy and announced him as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, but once Tampa Bay brought in lefty Enny Romero, Yelich was replaced by Gillespie.
"It's like we're celebrating every single at-bat that he is having right now," Prado said. "We feel so blessed seeing him doing what he's doing right now."
Loving the long ball: The Rays have hit homers in nine consecutive games and clubbed a pair on Monday. A total of 13 Rays players have hit home runs this season with none having more than nine. Guyer and Motter hit leadoff homers in the second and sixth innings.
"We had some exciting hits but just fell a little short," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
• Motter impresses in front of family, friends
Stanton showing signs: Gradually, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is showing signs of getting back on track. The three-time All-Star, who snapped an 0-for-19 slump that was underscored by 16 strikeouts on Sunday, went 1-for-3 with a walk. The single was a laser to left, and in the seventh inning, he worked a nine-pitch walk.
• Moore's struggles continue in loss to Rays
First things first: Moore was unable to turn in a quality start for the fourth consecutive outing, but he did accomplish one thing. In just his ninth career at-bat, Moore got his first Major League hit, a one-out single up the middle in the fourth inning. However, inexperienced on the basepaths, Moore was doubled up on Guyer's subsequent lineout. Moore went five innings and got a no-decision, giving up a season-high 10 hits and allowing five earned runs.
"It's a moot point, we didn't get the win," Moore said of his first hit in the big leagues.
"You've got to be careful with those guys. They're swinging the bats. They've got a lot of guys who are dangerous. You've got to get your fastball to your spots. You've got to be able to change speeds. You can't pump heaters in there. They're a typical young club, you really can't throw the ball by them, so you've got to be able to hit your spots and change speeds with them." -- Mattingly, on the Rays
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his infield single in the first inning, Ozuna has now reached safely in 30 straight games. The streak is the longest in the Majors this year.
In the seventh inning, Motter doubled and was called out at third base in an attempt to advance. The Rays challenged the out call at third base, and replay confirmed that Motter, whose double scored Tim Beckham and gave the Rays a one-run lead in the seventh inning, was indeed tagged out by Prado as he tried to stretch it into a triple. The replay took 1 minute, 13 seconds.
• Kiermaier's left hand surgery set for Tuesday
Rays:Jake Odorizzi will start for the Rays on Tuesday in the final game of a two-game set at Marlins Park. First pitch is scheduled for 12:10 p.m. ET. Odorizzi hasn't gone past the five-inning mark in either of his last two outings after turning in quality starts in his prior two outings.
Marlins: There is a quick turnaround with the early start for Tuesday's matinee at Marlins Park. Tom Koehler wraps up the five-game homestand for Miami and is 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in two career starts vs. the Rays.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami and covered the Rays on Monday.