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Thu, May 30, 2013 - 7:10 PM ET
 

Rays-Marlins Preview

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With Alex Colome set to make his major league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays against the lowly Miami Marlins, Matt Moore will have to wait a day to attempt to become the majors' first nine-game winner.

Facing the worst offensive team in the major leagues, Colome appears to have a decent chance at immediate success Thursday night when the Rays look to continue their dominance in the Citrus Series.

Roberto Hernandez helped Tampa Bay (28-24) improve to an AL-best 8-1 in interleague games, allowing no earned runs over 8 2-3 innings in a 3-1 win at Miami (13-40) on Wednesday.

The Rays, who moved a season-high four games above .500 with their fourth straight victory, have outscored the Marlins 77-30 while winning 12 of the last 13 meetings.

The 23-year-old Moore, who is the youngest to win his first eight decisions since 22-year-old Babe Ruth did it in 1917, was originally scheduled to start as Tampa Bay tries for the four-game season series sweep.

After Wednesday's win, however, manager Joe Maddon announced the left-hander would be pushed back a day with Friday's scheduled starter Alex Cobb unavailable due to a finger laceration on his throwing hand.

That means Colome will get the opportunity to make an impression at the big-league level after going 4-5 with a 2.60 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Durham.

The 24-year-old right-hander had 61 strikeouts and walked 22 in 55 1-3 innings for the Bulls.

"My cutter is really good this year," Colome told the team's official website. "(Joel) Peralta help me in Spring Training, he pushed me to throw my changeup. Now my changeup is really good. I can throw for strike, strikeout, whatever. … I feel better. I feel more comfortable."

Colome may be able to continue that success against a Miami offense that ranks last in the major leagues with a .221 batting average, 145 runs and 27 homers. The Marlins managed only three hits Wednesday in their season-high eighth straight loss.

"Just another game like we've seen before where we couldn't get anything going offensively,'' manager Mike Redmond said.

Scheduled Miami starter Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 3.65 ERA) has been hurt by the lack of offense, recording only one win despite allowing one run over seven or more innings in three of his last four starts.

The right-hander gave up one run and eight hits in 7 2-3 innings before leaving without a decision in a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

"I'm just trying to execute," Nolasco said. "Just trying to make pitches and go deep into the game."

Since winning his first two starts against the Rays, Nolasco has gone 0-4 with a 12.33 ERA in the last four. He's 1-2 with an 8.79 ERA in three home starts versus Tampa Bay, yielding six homers.

He has managed to keep Evan Longoria and Kelly Johnson in check, with the two combining to go 5 for 26 with seven strikeouts. Johnson is 10 for 19 with nine RBIs in his last five games overall.

Yunel Escobar is hitting .429 with five RBIs over his last four games and is 10 for 27 (.370) lifetime in this matchup.

Chris Coghlan has been a bright spot lately for Miami, going 8 for 20 with four extra-base hits over his last five games.

Rookie teammate Marcell Ozuna singled in the fourth inning Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active run in the majors.

Tagged: Marlins, Rays, Ricky Nolasco

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