Looking for a sweep, the Marlins couldn’t get anything going Sunday afternoon. In the wake of Josh Johnson’s DL placement, Jay Buente received the nod, but lost in his season debut. Tampa Bay scored two runs in both the second and third innings, and that was all the offense the day saw.
The Rays were able to garner seven hits. Matt Joyce smacked an RBI double in the third followed up by Casey Kotchman’s RBI triple. They were backed by James Shields’ absolute gem, a complete game shut out of the Fish. The Marlins could only muster 3 scarce hits.
Gaby Sanchez had two of those hits, one in the second, and one in the seventh. Between the two singles, Shields retired 17 straight. Sanchez had a nice play in fifth inning, when with runners on the corners, he shoveled a bunted safety squeeze attempt to Brett Hayes, who tagged Matt Joyce out at the plate. Mike Stanton also made a good grab in right field, reaching into the bullpen to catch a Johnny Damon foul ball.
The Marlins are off Monday before traveling west to play in San Fransisco, L.A., and Phoenix. Ricky Nolasco opens the Giants series on the mound. The Fish stand second in the NL East at 26-19, 1.5 games back of Philadelphia who also lost today. The Braves currently stand at 3.0 games back until they wrap up today versus the Angels.