ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- Nick Markakis' three-run homer off Ryan Yarbrough capped a four-run third inning, as the Tampa Bay Rays were swept by the Atlanta Braves to end a five-game homestand, dropping the finale of their two-game series 5-2 Wednesday.
Yarbrough, who was coming off five shutout innings of relief Friday against Toronto, allowed a run in the top of the second on a base hit by Ender Inciarte, then in the second loaded the bases with nobody out thanks to singles by Charlie Culberson and Ozzie Albies and hitting Ronald Acuna Jr. with a pitch. The left-hander hoped to get out of the inning with minimal damage after getting Freddie Freeman to hit a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0, but Nick Markakis followed up with a three-run blast that busted the game open.
Yarbrough (2-2) would leave after five innings Wednesday, having allowed five runs on six hits while striking out four.
The Rays had a couple of opportunities early to plate a run, but could not come through until the bottom of the eighth, when they loaded the bases off Peter Moylan. A.J. Minter came on an struck out Brad Miller, but Wilson Ramos picked his teammate up by lacing a two-run single to left, which also extended his hitting streak to a major league-leading 16 games.
The Rays again tried to get something going in the ninth, as Daniel Robertson reached on a two-out infield single, but Denard Span grounded out to end the game and Atlanta completed the two-game sweep.
Thursday - OFF
Friday - Rays at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 p.m. first pitch
Saturday - Rays at Baltimore Orioles, doubleheader, 3:05 p.m. first pitch Game 1, Game 2 first pitch 45 minutes after conclusion of Game 1.
Sunday - Rays at Baltimore Orioles, 1:05 p.m. first pitch