DeJesus powers Rays to Citrus Series win
MIAMI -- Nathan Karns, making his seventh Major League start, scattered two hits and allowed two runs in seven innings, and David DeJesus connected on a three-run homer that propelled the Rays to a 8-5 win over the Marlins on Sunday afternoon.
Tampa Bay claimed two of three in the series, after the Marlins took the opener on Friday. Miami also wrapped up a rough homestand at 1-5.
Henderson Alvarez, the Marlins' Opening Day starter, worked five innings, giving up four runs. The crushing blow was DeJesus' three-run shot in the fifth inning that gave Tampa Bay a 4-1 lead. More >
Karns, who gave up six runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Orioles in his first start, was in command on Sunday. The right-hander allowed just two hits and two runs, one earned, while striking out six. More >
Jarrod Saltalamacchia's homer in the ninth was Miami's first of the season. The franchise drought for starting the season without a homer is six games, set in the inaugural 1993 season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
DeJesus goes deep: DeJesus started in place of Steven Souza Jr. due to a scheduled day off for the rookie outfielder. Rays manager Kevin Cash said he liked the matchup of DeJesus' left-handed bat against right-hander Henderson Alvarez. Well, the hunch paid off. DeJesus came through with a three-run homer off Alvarez in the fifth that put the Rays up 4-1. More >
Torrid Beckham: Tim Beckham hit a pinch-hit home run in Saturday's game and added a single. On Sunday, Cash sent Beckham to the plate to again pinch-hit and again he came through. This time with an RBI triple that gave the Rays a 5-2 lead. Beckham then added an RBI single in the eighth.
"Just trying to get good pitches to hit," Beckham said. "Swing at a ball in the zone. Don't get myself out by swinging at bad pitches outside the zone. Just try and put the barrel on the ball and help the team."
Hechavarria's diving double play: For the second straight day, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria made a diving catch to save a run. Hechavarria's acrobatic play also took away potentially a big first inning. Tampa Bay had already grabbed a one-run lead in the top of the first, and was primed for more. Asdrubal Cabrera was on second with one out when Evan Longoria ripped a liner which appeared to be heading up the middle. Cabrera took off, anticipating scoring, but Hechavarria made a tremendous diving catch. From the ground he flipped to Dee Gordon at second to complete the double play.
Bake Show walks: Jeff Baker, the only Marlin not to appear in the first five games, made an appearance as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning. He came through with a two-out walk, which was significant. Gordon followed with an RBI triple.
"We haven't played well, really all week. Today, a couple of big blows, injury-wise. I'm really disappointed. We've got to bounce back. We've got another game tomorrow night in Atlanta. Hopefully, we're a better road team than we have been a home team. We've got to dig deep right now, and see what we're made of." -- Miami manager Mike Redmond
"I knew he was fast, but I didn't know he played the game that way. And the type of pressure he puts on the defense. There's not a thought in his mind other than second base when he hits a ground ball through the infield somewhere. Pretty impressive." -- Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash on the play of Kevin Kiermaier
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Longoria ranks with greats: Longoria's 425 extra-base hits in his first 964 games is the same number as Hall of Famer Duke Snider had at the same point in his career and one more than Mickey Mantle had after the same number of games.
Error streak broken: Alan Dykstra's fielding error in the fourth ended the Rays' errorless streak that dated to Opening Day when starter Chris Archer made an error on the first play of the season.
Gordon triple threat: With the Dodgers last year, Gordon paced the Majors with 12 triples. On Sunday, the speedster notched his first triple as a Marlin. It was a drive into the gap in right-center, scoring Baker. Gordon raced into third standing up.
It was a rough day physically for Miami on Sunday. In the second inning, third baseman Don Kelly, making his first start, fractured his right ring finger while fielding Rene Rivera's routine ground ball. Immediately after throwing Rivera out, Kelly headed to the dugout with a bloody finger.
Miami was struck by the same injury in the eighth inning, when catcher Jeff Mathis took a foul tip off his right hand, and he had to exit the game also with a fractured right ring finger. The foul ball came off the bat of Beckham. More >
Rays: The Rays head to Toronto to begin a stretch of 22 consecutive games against American League East opponents. Jake Odorizzi will start for the Rays, hoping to bring the same success he enjoyed Wednesday night when he held the Orioles scoreless for 6 2/3 innings to pick up the win.
Marlins: The Marlins embark on their first road trip, opening a three-game set with the Braves at Turner Field on Monday. Mat Latos, tagged for seven runs in a career-low two-thirds of an inning against the Braves on April 7, gets a rematch. Shelby Miller will start for Atlanta.
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