Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins series primer
Jun 2, 2014 at 1:00p ET
A pair of struggling ballclubs will look to get back on track in the annual Citrus Series.
Tampa Bay has dropped six in a row and holds the worst record in the American League. Even after being swept by the Atlanta Braves, Miami sits second in the National League East.
On Monday, veteran southpaw Randy Wolf will counter righty Alex Cobb. In his first start since signing with the Marlins on May 14, Wolf surrendered six runs (four earned) on nine hits in five innings. Cobb, who got an extra day of rest, gave up six earned runs in five frames in his last start. It snapped his franchise record of 24 2/3 scoreless innings.
Right-hander Chris Archer recorded his fifth quality start but didnât factor into the decision last Wednesday. He went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. Righty Henderson Alvarez returns to the rotation after exiting his last outing in the fifth as a precaution with right elbow tightness. He had tossed five scoreless innings Wednesday in Washington.
The Rays have won all but one of their last 14 games against the Marlins dating back to 2011. Tampa Bay went 4-0 last season and leads the all-time series 46-43. Miami last captured Sunshine State bragging rights in 2010.
Here's a look at the first two games of the Rays-Marlins series ...
SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS
June 2 (FOX Sports Florida/Sun Sports -- pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
RHP Alex Cobb (1-2, 2.93 ERA) vs. LHP Randy Wolf (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
June 3 (FOX Sports Florida/Sun Sports -- pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
RHP Chris Archer (3-2, 4.00 ERA) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 2.97 ERA)
LF James Loney (Rays): Loney has a team-leading .293 average, 26 points higher than the next regular. He collected three hits over his final seven at-bats of the weekend series against the Boston Red Sox. Loney has struck out just four times in his past 10 games.
SS Adeiny Hechavarria (Marlins): Hechavarria has a modest four-game streak, but two of those have been multi-hit contests. He went 5-for-11 (.455) in the Braves series. Hechavarria has been going the other way with his swings, something he did early in the season when his average flirted around .300.
C Jose Molina (Rays): Manager Joe Maddon decided to go with Molina for the three-game set with the Red Sox. He went hitless in six at-bats and has just four hits in his last 27 (.148) with no runs and no RBI. The club's other catcher, Ryan Hanigan, is 0-for-23 over his past 10 games.
2B Derek Dietrich (Marlins): Although Dietrich did drive in a pair of runs on Saturday, he went hitless in three at-bats and played shaky defense that cost Miami a run when he couldn't turn a double play on Sunday. When a lefty reliever entered in a key situation, manager Mike Redmond went with righty Ed Lucas.
14: Consecutive starts without a win for Rays starters, matching the longest stretch since 2010-11
.500: Average (9-for-18) with two homers for Rays utility player Ben Zobrist in five games at Marlins Park
0: Wins in 25 chances for Miami when trailing after eight innings this year
6.28: ERA for Marlins righty Henderson Alvarez in five career starts against the Rays.
"We'll have a couple of really good offensive days and it kind of goes away. ... We have to figure out how to break through." -- Rays manager Joe Maddon, to reporters in Boston, after the club was shut out for the sixth time this season on Sunday
"Obviously, I would have liked to have had a better result, but it's probably not going to be my last three-strikeout game ever." -- Rays OF Jerry Sands, to reporters in Boston, after going hitless in four at-bats and striking out three times in his major-league debut
"We didn't play our best, we didn't play great defense (and) we didn't run the bases well. There's a lot of areas where we need to get better. I think it just shows you what we need to do to be able to take that next step. We need to play better, but we know we can play with these guys. Every guy in that clubhouse believes that, but we have some work to do. We need to get better in a bunch of different areas, and this was a good test. Believe me, it left a sour taste in all our mouths. We've got to move on and get ready for (Monday)." -- Marlins manager Mike Redmond on getting swept by the Braves in a battle for first place
"We really needed to get this one, try to limit the damage. Come back (Monday) and hopefully win out at home." -- Marlins right-hander Nathan Eovaldi on finishing up the five-game homestand
PROMOTIONS & GIVEAWAYS
June 2 -- South Florida Heroes Monday; All You Can Eat Special; Monday Madness group offer
June 3 -- Half Price Tuesday
June 4-5 -- Marlins at Rays