Marlins end dismal homestand with 8-5 loss to Rays
MIAMI (AP) The Miami Marlins endured a rain delay despite their retractable roof. They were the last team in the majors to hit a home run. And by the end of a miserable season-opening homestand, they even had trouble showing up on time.
Center fielder Marcell Ozuna was benched Sunday for pregame tardiness, and the offense was again a no-show for much of the game as the Marlins lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 8-5.
Miami came into the season with high hopes but went 1-5 on a homestand that began with the roof gaffe on opening day and deteriorated from there.
''It could have been worse,'' catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. ''We could have been 0-6.''
In the finale, the Rays' Nathan Karns allowed two hits in seven innings for his second career victory. The Marlins' offense finally came alive late in the game, and Saltalamacchia hit their first homer in the ninth, but they lost two players with similar injuries.
Reserve third baseman Don Kelly and backup catcher Jeff Mathis each broke the ring finger on his right hand.
''Tough day all the way around,'' Mathis said.
Tough week, actually. Despite a late surge after the Marlins fell behind 7-2, they're batting only .213. Four of the eight regulars are at .200 or below.
''We've got some guys pressing -- you can see it -- trying to do way too much,'' manager Mike Redmond said.
The Marlins' $325 million right fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, went 0 for 4 and dropped his average to .158. There were a few jeers from the crowd of 20,199 when he fouled out in his final at-bat.
Stanton also committed an error that helped the Rays score a run in the first inning, and his indecision with a throw allowed Kiermaier to stretch a hit into a double.
''We haven't played well really all week,'' Redmond said. ''We've got to dig deep right now and see what we're made of.''
Ozuna, scratched from the lineup as punishment for being late, apologized and said he didn't realize the pregame workout was earlier than usual.
''It was my fault,'' he said. ''I say sorry, and it's not going to happen again.''
Karns (1-1), making his seventh career start, allowed two runs - one earned - and lowered his career ERA from 6.67 to 5.65.
David DeJesus had a three-run homer off Henderson Alvarez (0-2).
''He hit a sinker that didn't sink,'' Alvarez said.
Alvarez allowed four runs in five innings. He fell to 1-6 with a 5.06 ERA in seven career starts against Tampa Bay.
For the second game in a row, the Rays' Tim Beckham came off the bench to deliver an extra-base hit, this time a pinch-hit RBI triple in the sixth. Kevin Kiermaier doubled twice and has seven extra-base hits. Catcher Rene Rivera snapped out of an 0-for-17 start with two RBI doubles and a single.
''We feel confident as an offensive side right now,'' DeJesus said. ''You can see the at-bat we've been getting -- just quality, professional at-bats throughout the lineup today. Guys are not putting pressure on themselves. We're not trying to be the hero. We're just moving the line.''
Rays: RHP Alex Colome (pneumonia) pitched three scoreless innings in his first rehab start Saturday for Single-A Charlotte. He's scheduled for another start there Thursday. ... OF John Jaso is not swinging a bat yet, but the swelling in his bruised left wrist has gone down.
Marlins: Kelly was hurt fielding a grounder in the second inning. Mathis was hit by a pitch while behind the plate in the eighth.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-0, 0.00) will start in Toronto's home opener Monday. He pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his first start Wednesday against Baltimore.
Tampa Bay is 2-10 in opponents' home openers.
Rookie RHP Matt Andriese will make his first career start Tuesday for the Rays, who play their next 22 games against the AL East.
Marlins: RHP Mat Latos (0-1, 94.50), coming off the shortest outing of his career, again faces Atlanta when the Marlins start a 10-game trip Monday. Latos allowed seven runs in two-thirds of an inning Tuesday against the Braves.
''I get redemption,'' Latos said. ''It's always good to get a second chance. Something like that hasn't happened to me before in my six-year career. I made some changes in my mechanics, and it will be good to get past it.''