Major League Baseball
Marlins-Rays Preview
Major League Baseball

Marlins-Rays Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 2:32 p.m. ET

Matt Andriese has already provided a boost to Tampa Bay's rotation, but next he will try to push himself into select company with the Rays.

Andriese hopes to open his season with a fourth consecutive victory as the Rays move their home-and-home set against the Miami Marlins to Tropicana Field on Wednesday night.

Tampa Bay (21-22) opened its eight-game trip with four wins but needed a split at Miami (23-22) to walk away with a 5-3 record. The Rays did so with a 4-3 victory Tuesday that snapped a three-game skid.

"We needed a win today to turn this road trip in the positive," manager Kevin Cash said. "With the way we started we had to finish a little better than the way we were going. It was a big win."


Andriese looks to supply the Rays with their sixth win in the last seven games of the Citrus Series while extending his own streak.

He's 3-0 with a 2.11 ERA since being called up from Triple-A Durham on May 8, earning a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels that day. He followed with his first shutout in a 6-0 win against Oakland on May 14 before taking a step back Friday.

The right-hander gave up five hits, including a two-run homer, and four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 7-5 victory at Detroit.

Still, Andriese became just the fifth Rays pitcher to open a season with wins in his first three starts, joining Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, Matt Garza and Victor Zambrano. Moore was the only one to win at least four straight, opening 5-0 in 2013.

Andriese made his MLB debut out of the bullpen against Miami on April 10, 2015, walking one in a scoreless inning.

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton drew that walk and will try to pose a threat to Andriese on Wednesday. Stanton was stuck in a 6 for 57 stretch (.105) before hitting his 12th home run Tuesday. He was stranded in the on-deck circle when Alex Colome sealed his 12th save by striking out Justin Bour looking.

Stanton's struggles were highlighted by 17 Ks while going 1 for 21 in six games before Monday's 7-6 win. He went 2 for 7 with a strikeout against Tampa Bay in Miami.

"He's starting to see the ball better," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "That's really what you want."

Marcell Ozuna also doubled twice and reached base for the 31st consecutive game on Tuesday. Ozuna and Stanton hope to provide some offense for Justin Nicolino, who looks to end his own struggles.

Nicolino (2-2, 4.30) opened by allowing six earned runs in his first three starts spanning 19 1/3 innings, but he's coughed up eight in his last two over 10 innings.

The left-hander had allowed one home run in his first 25 innings before allowing two in the second of Friday's 4-1 loss to Washington. He retired the next 10 batters he faced, but the damage was already done.

"That inning they were in attack mode," Nicolino said. "They were swinging. After that I settled in, but I put us in a hole early."


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