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Marlins blast Tampa Bay Rays in final game of Citrus Series

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This time, the Tampa Bay Rays were the bug. The Miami Marlins were the windshield.

The Rays were clobbered by the Marlins Sunday after, losing 9-1 in their most lopsided defeat of the year. It was Tampa Bay’s fifth loss in six games, a stretch I which they’ve beeen outscored 37-22. The Rays were 20-19 at one point, but they have fallen to 21-24.

“We just got outplayed today,” said manager Kevin Cash. “We got outpitched. We got outhit. They defended better than us.”

Pretty much, every shortcoming the team has was on display. Only once in the last 16 games has a Rays’ pitcher gone as many seven innings.

This time, Drew Smyly left a pair of two-out curveballs high, and Miami hit both for two-run homers to take a 5-0 lead and coast. Offensively, the Rays had only seven hits, three of those by Corey Dickerson. For the Marlins, Adeiny Hechavarria and Chris Johnson had the home runs.

In all, the Marlins had 15 hits, including three by Hechavarria. Five other Marlins had two hits.

The Rays have not pitched to expectations all season. Their era is over four for the season.

“We came in with a lot of hype about our pitching staff,” Cash said. “These guys take a lot of pride in what they do. They’ll figure it out. When they do, we’ll get hot. We need them to pitch better. We need them to get going. They’re fully aware if that.”

The Rays start a weekend series with the Yankees tonight with Chris Archer (3-5) on the mound.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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