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Marlins Aim To Break Out Of Funk As Sunshine Series Shifts To Tampa

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ST. PETERSBURG (CBSMiami/SportsDirect) – The Miami Marlins are hoping a trip across the state of Florida will help turn things around for the struggling ballclub.

The Tampa Bay Rays look to continue their success when the Sunshine State series moves north for the final two games, starting Wednesday night when the Marlins pay a visit.

The Rays took the first two contests of the home-and-home set after holding on for a 3-1 victory Tuesday as Logan Morrison remained hot against his former team with a solo homer to open the scoring.

Morrison is 11-for-19 with a pair of blasts and five RBIs in six career games against Miami, where he played from 2010-13, and his offense is much needed with Evan Longoria (foot) day-to-day and Kevin Kiermaier slumping (1-for-37, last 10 games).

Tampa Bay, which is 9-4 at home in 2017, sends left-hander Blake Snell to the mound against fellow Washington native Adam Conley, who is coming off his worst performance of the season.

The Marlins dropped six of their last seven games, allowing 36 runs combined, and managed two or fewer runs in five of the past six while their top hitters Giancarlo Stanton (1-for-14) and Christian Yelich (1-for-15) are scuffling during a four-game stretch.

“It’s not working on either side right now,” Miami manager Don Mattingly told reporters. “So, we’re just going to have to regroup and get going.”

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Sun (Tampa Bay)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins LH Adam Conley (1-2, 6.86 ERA) vs. Rays LH Blake Snell (0-2, 3.42)

Conley started the season with three solid starts, but must rebound from his last outing after yielding nine runs on five hits and three walks over 1 2/3 innings against Pittsburgh on Friday.

The 26-year-old Washington State product had back-to-back quality starts before that, allowing four runs over 12 innings, and has given up two runs in 11 frames on the road early on.

Conley permitted two runs on five hits over six innings without factoring in the decision in his only meeting with the Rays in 2015.

Snell has kept his ERA down while limiting opponents to a .214 batting average, but has walked 18 batters in 26 1/3 innings and does not own a quality start in five outings.

The 24-year-old Seattle native threw 96 pitches in five innings last time out against Toronto when he allowed two runs on six hits and three walks in a no-decision.

Snell is facing Miami for the first time in his career and is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two interleague contests, beating both Colorado and San Diego last season.

WALK-OFFS

  1. Miami 1B Justin Bour has picked it up of late with seven hits in 13 at-bats with six RBIs over the last four games to lift his average from .178 to .233.
  2. Tampa Bay OF Colby Rasmus (hip) was activated Tuesday and walked in his first at-bat with the team while OF Shane Peterson was designated for assignment.
  3. The Marlins pitching staff recorded 26 strikeouts in the last two games but walked 19, including 11 in Tuesday’s setback.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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