ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Desmond Jennings kept the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense rolling along.
Jennings drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 7-6 victory over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.
It was the sixth game the Rays have won this season after giving up six runs or more, matching last season’s total. The Rays finished with 16 hits.
“It’s so much fun to watch right now,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “Even when we were down early and their pitcher was pitching well, I just felt confident that we could come back.”
The Rays overcame an early 4-0 deficit and won their third in a row. Miami lost its seventh straight game.
Kelly Johnson opened the ninth with an infield single and took second on Evan Longoria’s single off Mike Dunn (1-1).
With two outs Jennings, who was recently dropped from first to seventh in the Tampa Bay batting order, singled sharply down the right-field line against Chad Qualls, Jennings’ third hit of the game.
“I felt I had good at-bats all night,” Jennings said. “I remember Joe (moved me down in the batting order) last year toward the middle of the season. It always seems to work.”
Fernando Rodney (2-2) got the win.
Luke Scott and Yunel Escobar also had three of Tampa Bay’s hits, and the Rays’ bottom four hitters hit 11-for-17 with five RBIs.
Greg Dobbs’ two-out single off Joel Peralta gave the Marlins a 6-5 lead in the eighth. Singles by Scott, Jennings and Escobar off Dunn tied it in the bottom half.
Chris Coghlan homered, tripled and drove in three runs for the Marlins. Miami scored five or more runs in a second straight game for the first time this season.
“Anytime you get walked off three times in a road trip, that’s rough,” manager Mike Redmond said after the Marlins’ winless trip. “It wears on everybody. Guys are battling. They’re out there playing hard. I sensed that the attitude was good in the dugout. Guys are trying. We just didn’t get it done.”
Marcell Ozuna doubled in the Miami second, extending his hitting streak to 13 games, and scored on Justin Ruggiano’s single.
The Marlins made it 4-0 in the third against Jeremy Hellickson with the help of RBI triples by Derek Dietrich and Coghlan.
Coghlan led off the sixth with his first home run of the season.
Hellickson pitched 5 1-3 innings, giving up five runs and seven hits.
Miami starter Kevin Slowey also pitched into the sixth, leaving after a double by Scott. Jose Lobaton’s two-run double off Ryan Webb later in the inning tied it at 5.
“You’re disappointed anytime your team gives you the lead and you can’t hold on to it,” said Slowey, who gave up four runs and eight hits. “I thought tonight was a battle on both sides, for both pitchers, both bullpens and all the way around.”
Johnson doubled home a run in the third. He has 25 RBIs in 22 games this month.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.