Interleague Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, June 15th
(All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (32-31) at Tampa Bay Rays (35-28), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Carlos Zambrano (4-4, 3.55)
Tampa Bay - Matt Moore (3-5, 4.59)
(Sports Network) - Few pitchers can alter the momentum of the game at the
plate, but Carlos Zambrano is certainly capable of doing just that.
If it's up to Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, the big right-hander won't be
taking too many big hacks in the near future.
Zambrano looks to rebound from an injury-shortened outing last week against
the Rays as Miami and Tampa Bay start up a three-game series at Tropicana
The 31-year-old Zambrano lasted just 2 1/3 frames against the Rays last
Saturday in the middle portion of a three-game series in Miami, allowing seven
runs on five hits and three walks before exiting with back stiffness. Zambrano
threw just 27 of his 57 pitches for strikes and fell to 4-4 with a 3.55 earned
run average in 12 starts after taking the loss.
"I know he wanted to stay out there and pitch and I appreciate that," said
Guillen about Zambrano. "But at the same time, I'd rather lose a game than
lose a player."
The outing was a bit worse than the first and only other time Zambrano had
faced the Rays, an outing on June 18, 2008 with the Cubs in which he suffered
a defeat for allowing five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and four walks
over 6 2/3 frames.
Zambrano's back issues aren't expected to keep him from making this start, and
although Zambrano's big swings at the plate aren't believed to be the cause of
the issue, Guillen told Miami's official website he doesn't want his starter,
owner of 24 career homers, trying to put on a show at the plate.
"We're going to cut down on his swings," Guillen said. "He ain't swinging no
more. ... He's done with that. Now he's just going to bunt, bunt and bunt. No
more home run derby for him."
Matt Moore was on the winning end of Saturday's start and will look for a
repeat performance tonight in his second career outing versus the Marlins.
The left-hander, who turns 23 on Monday, did not allow a run through his first
five innings before getting charged with four in the sixth. Still, he won a
13-4 decision and improved to 3-5 with a 4.59 ERA in 12 starts this season.
Moore's victory was part of Tampa Bay's three-game sweep of Miami last
weekend, but the Rays had the tables turned on them as they dropped all three
contests of their ensuing set with the Mets.
Tampa Bay was outscored 29-9 in the series and was held to just one hit in
Wednesday's 9-1 defeat. Though the offense was better in yesterday's finale,
Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson struggled and was handed a 9-6 setback.
Hellickson gave up nine hits, including three homers, and eight runs in just 3
2/3 innings for Tampa Bay to remain winless in his last five starts.
"It was a tough one," Hellickson said. "The offense came out and did their
job. I just gotta do a better job keeping them off the board."
With the sweep, the Rays have fallen 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees for first
place in the American League East.
The Marlins did not leave their struggles behind after getting swept by the
Rays, dropping two of three to the Red Sox to begin the week. Miami was routed
10-2 in Wednesday's rubber match and has lost eight of its past nine.
The Marlins didn't get their first hit until Jose Reyes launched a two-out
homer in the sixth and Justin Ruggiano also knocked in a run.
"We're very bad ... very bad, I will not deny it," said Guillen. "No sense in
getting down about it. We're not playing well, so they came out and kicked our
Ricky Nolasco was charged in defeat for five hits and four runs -- three
earned -- over six full frames.
Miami has lost seven in a row to Tampa Bay.
06/15 10:36:16 ET