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Rays Continue Marlins' Scoreless Streak in Miami With 4-0 Win

Joey Wendle strokes a two-run double in the 8th, extending the Rays' lead to 4-0 over the Marlins

Saturday's match up between the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins turned out to be almost a carbon copy of Friday's game between these two teams, as the Rays scored late and the Marlins stayed scoreless in Tampa Bay's 4-0 win.

The Rays have now shut out the Marlins in four straight games in Miami's Marlins Park, a mark that baseball has not seen since the Baltimore Orioles over the Toronto Blue Jays spanning the 1981 and 1982 seasons.

The game was another pitching duel, similar to Friday's game. Rays starter Josh Fleming and Marlins starter Pablo Lopez matched zeroes for five innings, and it looked as if we might be watching a game from the 1970s--a game that could end in under two hours.

But alas, that was for naught, as the Rays put up runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to wrest control of the game. Yandy Diaz opened the scoring in the sixth with a two-out infield single off losing pitcher Lopez, bringing home Michael Perez from third. Perez had singled with one out, then Austin Meadows followed with a double, advancing Perez to third.

In the seventh, a two-out Kevin Kiermaier single drove in Joey Wendle, who doubled with one out. And in the eighth, the Rays pushed across two more two-out runs on a bases-loaded grounds-rule double by Wendle.

In this series, all the runs scored by the Rays came with two outs.

Perez also starred behind the plate, as he caught Marlins' second baseman Jonathan Villar stealing in the first inning, a key play in the game. No runner had advanced past first base for Miami until the sixth inning against winning pitcher Fleming, who allowed a one-out double to Marlins' shortstop Miguel Rojas.

Rays' manager Kevin Cash removed Fleming (2-0) after that double, summoning Ryan Thompson, who struck out center fielder Jon Berti, then balked Rojas to third. Thompson then got Villar to ground out, ending Miami's only threat of the night.

The Rays' bullpen did not allow a hit for the remainder of the ballgame, as the Marlins had no more than one runner on base at any time during the game.

Tampa Bay now owns the best record in the American league, at 23-11, as the Oakland A's were swept by the Houston Astros on Saturday. The Rays have now won 17 of their last 20 games, and hold a four-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East.

On Sunday, the Rays look for the sweep of the Marlins, with Blake Snell on the mound, facing Miami's Sandy Alcantara. Coverage begins on 95.3 WDAE with Steve Carney and The Inside Pitch at 11 a.m., followed by This Week in Rays Baseball with Neil Solondz at 11:30 a.m. Fist pitch at Marlins Park is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.

Photos Courtesy: Getty Images

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