Final
  for this game

Rays-Marlins Preview

Jun 20, 2010 - 5:32 AM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

Tampa Bay (41-26) at Florida (32-35), 1:10 p.m. EDT

Even the sound of blowing air horns probably wouldn't be able to overshadow the excitement surrounding a matchup between two of the league's hottest pitchers.

Tampa Bay's David Price goes for his AL-leading 11th win while Florida's Josh Johnson looks to continue his own outstanding run Sunday when the Rays and Marlins decide the winner of a three-game series at Sun Life Stadium.

Price (10-2, 2.31 ERA) and Johnson (7-2, 1.86) have emerged as two of the league's best pitchers, setting up an intriguing end to an already interesting interleague series.

Price, tied for the AL lead in wins, has won his last three starts overall and five in a row on the road. Johnson, meanwhile, has been nearly flawless in his last seven starts, going 4-1 with a 0.55 ERA.

The Florida right-hander pitched seven innings Tuesday against Texas, lasting that long for the sixth time in his past seven outings. Johnson gave up one run and four hits with seven strikeouts and stood to earn the win until Leo Nunez blew the save in the Marlins' 3-2 loss.

"It was one of those things that happens every now and then," Johnson told the Marlins' official website.

Johnson, who is 1-0 with a 3.42 ERA in four starts against the Rays (42-26), is holding opponents to a .201 batting average this season.

Price, meanwhile, did not receive a decision in his last start. The left-hander allowed three runs and struck out seven in five innings - matching his shortest outing of the season - in a 10-4 win at Atlanta on Tuesday.

Price was back at the Rays' hotel Saturday, missing his team's 9-8 victory in 11 innings over the Marlins (32-36), after he was hit in the groin while playing catch with Wade Davis. Tampa Bay said it wasn't serious but sent him back to the hotel for rest.

"I'm hearing everything's fine," manager Joe Maddon said. "For all you males out there, you know exactly what that feels like, and it's no good."

He missed a bizarre game in which Tampa Bay blew a 5-2 lead in the eighth, but scored twice on bases-loaded walks during a four-run 11th. James Shields, pitching in relief for the first time in his career, got the win and Andy Sonnanstine picked up his first career save. The Rays, who remained tied for first in the AL East with the majors' best record, used nine pitchers. Florida used seven.

"Listen, man, it was not an oil painting by any means," Maddon said. "But it was a victory. And I'll take it."

Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez was ejected after a mixup with the batting order and both teams, as well as the umpiring crew, criticized the giveaway of air horns, which were replicas of the vuvuzelas heard during the World Cup.

"That was the worst handout or giveaway I've ever been a part of in baseball," said Dan Uggla, who popped out to end the game with runners on second and third and finished 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.

Tampa Bay snapped its three-game losing streak and sent the Marlins to their fourth loss in five games.

Florida's Hanley Ramirez left the game in the ninth because of a hamstring strain. His status for Sunday is uncertain.








  • Marlins 4, Rays 1 - FINAL
    TAMPA BAY ab r h rbi bb so lob avg
    J Jaso c 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 .290
    C Crawford lf 3 1 2 1 0 0 0 .307
    E Longoria 3b 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .304
    C Pena 1b 4 0 1 0 0 2 0 .200
    B Zobrist rf 4 0 1 0 0 2 0 .306
    B Upton cf 4 0 0 0 0 2 2 .230
    S Rodrigue

    Jun 20 3:37 PM


  • ML
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY WES HELMS (3) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF DAVID PRICE SCORED CODY ROSS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, FLORIDA 4
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: M STANTON (.244, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rays 1, Marlins 4  Bot 6, 0 OutsJun 20 2:48 PM


  • ML
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY GABY SANCHEZ SCORED CHRIS COGHLAN
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SANCHEZ ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1
    FLORIDA 2 BOTTOM,5TH
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: D UGGLA (.261, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Rays 1, Marlins 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 20 2:32 PM


  • ML
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARL CRAWFORD (7) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF JOSH JOHNSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 1, FLORIDA 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.308, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 1, Marlins 1  Top 4, 0 OutsJun 20 2:05 PM


  • ML
    AT FLORIDA - SCORING UPDATE
    FORCE OUT BY MIKE STANTON SCORED CODY ROSS
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M STANTON ON FIRST, 2 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 0
    FLORIDA 1 BOTTOM,2ND
    DUE UP FOR FLORIDA: B BARDEN (.217, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

    Rays 0, Marlins 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJun 20 1:41 PM