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Marlins outslug Rays, move into tie for first place

Realmuto plates three in debut; Stanton, Ozuna homer to finish sweep

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rookie catcher J.T. Realmuto, making his Major League debut, delivered two hits and drove in three runs, and Giancarlo Stanton belted his National League-leading 17th home run of the season Thursday as the Marlins won their 12th Interleague game in a row, 11-6, over the reeling Rays, who have now lost 10 straight.

With the victory, Miami moved into a tie for first place in the National League East with idle Atlanta.

Designated hitter Justin Bour, who was also playing in his first Major League game, also collected two hits, while Stanton boosted his league-leading RBI total to 53 with his two-run, seventh-inning blast off Brad Boxberger.

The Marlins are the first team since the Pirates on June 9, 2010 (Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln) to have two players record multi-hit games in their Major League debut in the same game. Thursday marks just the 13th time that has happened since records started being kept in 1914.

Realmuto and Bour are the 11th and 12th Marlins players to get multiple hits in their Major League debuts. Others on that list include Stanton and former catcher and current manager Mike Redmond.

"I can't really ask for a much better night," said Realmuto, who had his parents and his girlfriend in the stands at Tropicana Field to share in his dream game.

"It's nice to get a couple knocks, a few RBIs. You can't ask for more than that," added Realmuto who joined Jeremy Hermida (Aug. 31, 2005) as the only Marlins with at least three RBIs in their debut.

The only other NL catcher since 1914 with multiple hits and three or more RBIs in their debut was Pittsburgh's Aubrey Epps on Sept. 29, 1935.

"It was pretty cool -- but I never would have thought my first hit would be an infield single," said the power-hitting Bour, who also had four family members in the stands. "It didn't happen the way I expected, but I'm not complaining at all."

"It's fun to see guys make their Major League debuts and watch them get their first hits in the big leagues," said Redmond. "I know they'll remember this day for the rest of their lives."

Marcell Ozuna also homered for the Marlins in the ninth, giving him four RBIs in the game.

The Marlins' 12 consecutive Interleague wins represent the longest active streak in the Major Leagues and one shy of the all-time record of 13, set by the 2003-04 Yankees and the 2004 Rays.

The Marlins face the Rangers on Tuesday and Wednesday in Texas.

"It's not easy sweeping a team," said Redmond, whose Marlins took four in a row from the Rays -- two at home and two on the road.

"Fortunately today, our offense kept the pressure on and we put some good at-bats together. I was happy with the way we competed and happy with the way we pitched."

The Rays grabbed a 1-0 lead against Marlins starter and winner Jacob Turner in the first inning when David DeJesus led off with a single and eventually scored on James Loney's sacrifice fly.

Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi struck out seven of the first 12 Marlins he faced before two-out singles by Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones and Ozuna tied the score in the fourth.

Bour followed with an infield single, loading the bases. And Realmuto singled to center, driving in two runs.

Solo home runs by Kevin Kiermaier and Ben Zobrist tied the score at 3 in the fifth.

The Marlins reclaimed the lead, 6-3, in the sixth when McGehee doubled and scored on Ozuna's single and Realmuto knocked in his third run of the night with another hit. Ozuna scored on Adeiny Hechavarria's infield grounder.

Turner, who has allowed at least four runs in six of his eight starts, left the game in the bottom of the sixth after the Rays scored on a single by Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce's triple off the right-field wall.

"Our offense was huge today," said Turner, now 2-3 despite giving up five runs in 5 1/3 innings. "Everyone was swinging that bat well. That was awesome to see."

It was Turner's first career victory in 19 starts on the road.

"He pounds the strike zone and he's got great stuff," Redmond said. "There's one thing he has to eliminate, and that's the big inning. He has the ability to dominate any lineup. It comes down to consistency for him, as it does for all pitchers."

Jerry Sands' pinch-hit RBI single off reliever Chris Hatcher in the sixth reduced the Marlins' advantage to 6-5 and snapped the Rays' 0-for-34 slump with runners in scoring position.

Stanton hit a two-run shot the following inning, before Bour delivered an RBI single to give Miami a 9-5 lead.

Redmond was ejected in the bottom of the seventh after a lengthy discussion with first-base umpire Bill Miller regarding Jennings' double down the first-base line, although Redmond didn't challenge the call.

"You can't challenge when the ball is in front of him -- only when the ball is behind him," Redmond explained.

"But I clearly though that ball was foul. And when I got out there, I reaffirmed the fact that it was foul. But I couldn't convince him [Miller]."

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to
Read More: Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton, J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour, Marcell Ozuna