MIAMI (AP) — Henderson Alvarez needed only 88 pitches to toss an eight-hitter for his third shutout this year, and the Miami Marlins beat Tampa Bay 1-0 Tuesday, sending the reeling Rays home after a winless eight-game trip.
The only run scored when Christian Yelich walked on a 3-2 curveball with two out and the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
Alvarez (3-3) struck out five and walked none in his third consecutive scoreless outing, a stretch covering 19 innings. He retired his last five batters to close out the win in 2 hours, 10 minutes.
The right-hander’s three shutouts lead the majors. He had been 0-5 in five previous career starts against the Rays, but this time he faced a team in a miserable slump.
The Rays went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position and are hitless in their past 22 at-bats in those situations. They’ve scored six runs in their past six games.
Tampa Bay hit into three double plays — one on a sacrifice attempt — and had two runners caught stealing, including Yunel Escobar on a delayed steal attempt. Kevin Kiermaier had the Rays’ only extra-base hit when he tripled with two out in the third.
The four-game, home-and-home series continues with two games in St. Petersburg beginning Wednesday. The Rays play 18 of their next 21 games at home.
Chris Archer (3-3) allowed only five hits in seven innings, but Rays starters remained winless in the past 16 games, mostly because of poor run support.
Alvarez left his previous start last Wednesday after five innings because his elbow was bothering him, but he had only the Rays feeling any pain.
The Rays’ eight-game losing streak is their longest since 2009. They’ve lost 10 consecutive road games while being outscored 52-19.
Typical of the way things have gone was a threat that short-circuited in the fifth inning when Escobar was barely out at second base on a delayed steal attempt. He singled with one out and took off for second when an inattentive Alvarez had the ball on the mound before the next batter stepped to the plate.
After a leadoff single in the eighth, catcher Jose Molina bunted into a 1-6-3 double play.
The Marlins needed three singles and a walk to score the game’s only run. After they loaded the bases, Yelich fell behind 0-2 but got a walk when Archer missed with a 3-2 breaking ball.
Archer hopped off the mound in dismay at the call, but a TV replay showed the pitch was wide.
NOTES: Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton broke hit bat when he lined out in the fourth inning, and the barrel sailed into the Marlins’ on-deck circle and hit Casey McGehee in the stomach. He wasn’t hurt. … RHP Kevin Gregg passed his physical and signed a minor league deal with the Marlins. … Rays OF Desmond Jennings was given the night off. … Molina turned 39 Tuesday. … RHP Tom Koehler (4-5, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday for Miami against LHP David Price (4-4, 4.27 ERA).
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