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Solano, Marlins extend Rays' slump to nine games

Jun 5, 2014 - 6:21 AM St. Petersburg, FL ( - Donovan Solano's three-run homer helped the Miami Marlins take a 5-4 edge over the slumping Tampa Bay Rays from Tropicana Field.

Giancarlo Stanton went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored and Casey McGehee drove in a run for the Marlins, who have won three straight.

Tom Koehler (5-5) earned the win after giving up three runs on six hits with four strikeouts across five frames.

Returning home did not help the Rays, who have dropped nine straight after an abysmal eight-game road trip. This losing streak is the club's worst since an 11-game slide from September 3-13, 2009.

Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria supplied back-to-back homers and Matt Joyce went 3-for-3 for the Tampa Bay.

David Price (4-5) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs -- one earned -- on nine hits with 11 strikeouts across 7 1/3 frames.

"(Price) looked good. We didn't put together many good swings on him," said Marlins third baseman Ed Lucas. "Thankfully we got a big hit when we needed it and it held up for us."

The Rays threatened after Steve Cishek took the mound in the ninth. Yunel Escobar reached on Lucas' fielding error, Kevin Kiermaier doubled on a groundball that trickled down the right-field line and Jose Molina walked to load the bases.

David DeJesus' groundout to first brought in Escobar to make it a 5-4 game. Two batters later, Longoria was intentionally walked to load the bases again. Cishek escaped the jam by getting James Loney to pop out to second and end the game.

Tampa Bay was playing with heavy hearts after learning Rays Senior Baseball Advisor and baseball legend Don Zimmer died at the age of 83 on Wednesday night. He joined the Rays in 2004 after spending 12 seasons in the majors as a player and more than four decades as a manager, coach and advisor.

"It's all of our loss," Longoria said of Zimmer's death. "There are really no words to explain what he brought to us and what he meant to me."

Rays manager Joe Maddon echoed that sentiment and acknowledged that Zimmer meant a lot to the game of baseball.

"I'm totally going to miss his advice," Maddon said. "He's sorely missed at this moment. He always had some great advice. From us to the entire (Zimmer) family, we're so sorry."

Price struck out two batters in the first before Stanton doubled off the wall in left. He came around on McGehee's single down the right-field line, giving the Marlins an early lead.

DeJesus took a leadoff walk in the home half and Zobrist crushed a fastball into the right-field seats. Longoria then added a solo shot to left, making it a 3-1 game.

In the third, Lucas and Stanton both singled and Marcell Ozuna reached on a fielder's choice to put men on second and third. Longoria fielded Jeff Baker's grounder at third, but bobbled the ball on the tag, allowing Stanton to score and continue the inning.

On the very next pitch, Solano belted a shot to left, giving the Marlins a 5-3 lead.

Price retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced before being replaced in the eighth.

Game Notes

Price now has four games with 10-plus strikeouts this season ... The Marlins are 6-0 this season and have won 11 straight in interleague play ... Cishek picked up his 13th save of the season.