MIAMI (AP) — Alex Colome became the latest homegrown Tampa Bay Rays pitcher to make an impression.
Matt Joyce and James Loney homered to support Colome in his major league debut Thursday night and helped send the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-2 victory over the Miami Marlins, who lost their ninth straight.
Colome (1-0) allowed an unearned run and five hits in 5 2-3 innings. He walked two and struck out seven as the Rays won their fifth straight.
Tampa Bay has used a homegrown starting pitcher — a pitcher it drafted or signed internationally by the Rays — for 363 of the last 380 games dating back to Oct. 1, 2010.
Colome, 24, is the nephew of former Rays reliever Jesus Colome. He was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2007 and Wednesday became the first product of the Rays’ Dominican academy to reach the majors.
“I’ve waited a long time for this, and I feel very happy,” Colome said.
Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth for his 11th save in 16 opportunities.
Ricky Nolasco (3-6) gave up three runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. He walked four and struck out five. The Marlins have dropped 16 of 18.
Ben Zobrist had a two-run double off Mike Dunn in the ninth to build a 5-2 Tampa Bay lead.
The Rays went ahead 3-1 in the seventh when Loney led off with his fifth homer.
Joyce `s two-run homer in the sixth gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. It was Joyce’s ninth homer and followed a one-out walk to Zobrist.
The Marlins scored a run in the first on Jose Molina’s passed ball with the bases loaded. Colome escaped further damage by retiring Greg Dobbs on a groundout for the final out with runners on second and third.
“I was most impressed with his ability to stay calm throughout the whole thing, but his stuff is a little bit overwhelming. It’s really good,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Ahead 1-0 in the fifth, Miami put runners in first and third with one out. Colome then got Placido Polanco to hit into an inning-ending double play.
“It saved my life,” he said of the double play.
Miami scored an unearned run in the eighth, after Loney’s error on Dobbs’ grounder loaded the bases with two outs. Josh Lueke walked pinch-hitter Miguel Olivo to force home Polanco, then struck out Rob Brantly to end the inning.
Miami’s 31-year-old infielder Ed Lucas made his major league debut when he entered to play shortstop to begin the ninth. Lucas spent nearly 10 years in the minors.
“It was pretty amazing,” Lucas said. “It was especially exciting because it was a critical part of the game for a while. But it was a dream come true.”
Tampa Bay improved to 9-1 in interleague play, while the Marlins fell to 1-8.
Miami rookie Marcell Ozuna singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 15 games.
NOTES: Miami was expected to announce after the game RHP Jacob Turner would be called up from Triple-A New Orleans to start Friday night’s game against RHP Shaun Marcum (0-5, 5.77) and the New York Mets. … Rays LHP Matt Moore (8-0, 2.21) will oppose Cleveland Indians RHP Corey Kluber (3-3, 4.57) on Friday night. … Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton (strained hamstring) will back off his rehab due to sore knees, manager Mike Redmond said. … Rays manager Joe Maddon said RHP Alex Cobb (cut on middle finger) would start Tuesday if, “he says he he’s well.” The Rays were expected to make a postgame roster move before announcing a starter for Saturday. RHP Jeremy Hellickson will start Sunday. … Maddon was asked how important next week’s draft was for the team. “Our version of free agency,” he said.