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Tim Beckham, Matt Andriese guide Tampa Bay Rays past Miami Marlins in ‘Citrus Series’

By Greg Auman, The Sports Xchange   |   May 5, 2017 at 2:20 AM

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Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Andriese delivers a pitch. File photo by David Tulis/UPI

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays won Florida’s “Citrus Series” against the Miami Marlins for the season, cruising to a 5-1 win Thursday night at Tropicana Field to take three of four games from their in-state rivals.

The Rays (15-15) got seven shutout innings from starter Matt Andriese and a pair of two-run home runs from Tim Beckham, who recorded his second career multi-homer game.

“We played a good series against the Marlins,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “Andriese was really good. I think the story of the day was him and Tim Beckham. A really strong performance by Beck and Matty both.”

Andriese (2-1) lasted seven innings for the second straight start — this after 18 straight starts of six innings or less.

 

The Rays got all the offense they needed from Beckham, who had his second multi-HR game in eight days.

 

The Marlins (12-15) lost three of four against the Rays to drop the intra-state rivalry for this season.

 

“I can’t say I’m uncomfortable with our guys’ at-bats. Obviously, you want better results, but I felt they were working and saw a lot of energy and concentration,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I knew our guys were battling out there.”

 

Andriese scattered five hits in the first four innings, then got through the next three innings without allowing a hit. And one day after the Rays bullpen gave up eight runs in turning a 4-2 sixth-inning lead into a 10-6 loss, Tampa Bay’s relievers got the job done, giving up one run in two innings.

 

Tampa Bay was one out away from its second shutout of the season when rookie Chih-Wei Hu gave up an unearned run on an RBI single to Dee Gordon, forcing the Rays to use closer Alex Colome for the final out. Colome struck out Martin Prado and earned his eighth save of the season.

 

“I wouldn’t say it was my finest outing in terms of command, but I kept them off-balance,” said Andriese, who struck out eight batters. “My changeup was working well and I made some pitches when I needed to.”

 

Beckham provided all the runs in the game until the sixth inning, when the Rays got a two-out RBI single from Kevin Kiermaier, bringing in Derek Norris, who had singled. Marlins starter Dan Straily (1-3) held the Rays to three hits, but walked five batters, with two of them scoring on Beckham’s home runs.

 

The Rays managed just three hits in the first five innings, but two of them were two-run homers by Beckham, giving Tampa Bay a 4-0 lead.

 

Both Beckham home runs came after walks — he hit his fifth of the year with two outs in the second inning, then hit his sixth in the fourth inning, spoiling an otherwise solid night for Straily, who allowed four runs and three hits in five innings.

 

Beckham had zero multi-homer games in his first 170 career games, but has now done it twice in the last seven games.

Andriese got into trouble but consistently escaped those jams.

 

Miami had two singles in the second, but Derek Dietrich grounded out to first to end the inning.

 

The Marlins got two singles to lead off the third, but Martin Prado hit into what was nearly a triple play — his ground ball went right to third, and Daniel Robertson tagged the base, threw to second for the out, with Prado barely beating the throw to first.

 

In the fifth, speedy Gordon got on base with a one-out walk but was thrown out stealing second. He got to the base for his eighth steal but slid past and forced himself into a rundown between second and third.

 

“I’m not really overly concerned,” said Mattingly, whose team has dropped seven of their last nine. “I like my club. I’m confident that we’re going to play better than this and get more consistent than this.”

 

The Rays won two of the first three games of the series, taking both games at Marlins Park before the series shifted north. Miami looked solid Wednesday night, getting a season-high 17 hits and matching its best output of the year with 10 runs.

 

NOTES: The Rays stay home with a three-game series next against the Blue Jays, while the Marlins stay on the road for a three-game series at the Mets, also starting Friday. … The Rays placed RHP Erasmo Ramirez on the paternity list and recalled RHP Chih-Wei Hu from Triple-A Durham. Hu made his major league debut with a scoreless inning against the Orioles last week. … Hu is one of two Taiwan-born players in the majors, the other being Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen, who will start Saturday against the Mets. … With the win, the Rays are not only back to .500 for the season, but now 176-176 all-time in interleague games. They’re considerably better — 102-72 in the “Rays era,” since 2008. They’ve had a .500 record or better in interleague games in each of the last six seasons.

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