Willy Adames hit a grand slam and the surging Tampa Bay Rays beat the Miami Marlins 12-7 on Sunday to finish a three-game sweep.
Joey Wendle, Yoshi Tsutsugo and Kevin Kiermaier also went deep for the Rays, who have won 12 of their last 14 and have beaten Miami eight straight times since 2018. Tampa Bay improved to an American League-best 13 games over .500.
Blake Snell (3-0) allowed two runs on four hits in five innings. The 2018 Cy Young Award winner struck out five and walked two.
“We are so excited to play every day and that’s just refreshing because to do this with no fans and all of that,” Snell said. “We still show up. It’s a fun team to be a part of. Winning definitely helps.”
Miami starter Sandy Alcantara (1-1) was lifted after loading the bases with no outs in the fifth. Adames greeted reliever Robert Dugger with his grand slam, and Kiermaier later hit a two-run blast off Dugger.
After being held scoreless through seven innings Friday and the first five Saturday, the Rays provided Snell with a 12-2 lead.
“The run that we’ve had the last two days has been pretty special with the pitching, and then today to give those guys some breathing room it sure is appreciated with all the quality at-bats we had offensively,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said.
Alcantara struggled in his first appearance since opening day. The right-hander, one of 18 Marlins players who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, allowed eight runs on six hits, walked two and struck out two.
“I think I was too quick in the first inning,” Alcantara said. “I always want to do my best job, but today was my first start since opening day and it was a little different. In the fourth inning I just calmed down and tried to make a pitch.”
Miami dropped under .500 (14-15) for the first time this season and is 1-8 at home.
“I can’t explain home, why we haven’t played as well, I really can’t,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “I can guess at stuff and I would just be guessing. On the road you have nothing else but going to the ballpark.”
The Rays homered twice off Alcantara in the first. Wendle led off with a blast to right and Yoshi Tsutsugo followed with a two-run shot.
Miami snapped a 22-inning scoreless streak on Corey Dickerson’s homer in the fourth. It was the Marlins’ first run scored against Tampa Bay in their last four home games.
Lewis Brinson also hit a solo shot and Garrett Cooper had a homer and a bases-clearing double for the Marlins.
Before the game, the Rays traded designated hitter José Martínez to the Chicago Cubs for two players to be named or cash. Martinez, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the offseason, hit .239 with two homers and 10 RBIs with the Rays.
SWEATING OUT THE REVIEW
Adames nearly passed lead runner Tsutsugo on his home run trot. The Marlins unsuccessfully appealed the play. Overturning the call would have negated Adames’ grand slam.
“I was just praying that they didn’t take it back,” Adames said. “In that situation I was a little surprised that I almost passed Yoshi. It’s already hard to get a base hit. But to hit a homer and then have it changed back it would have been frustrating for me. I’m just happy it went good in my way.”
Although he enjoyed teammates giving him a 10-run lead in the fifth, Snell said the 42-minute half inning affected him when he returned to the mound.
“I have to get deeper into these ballgames,” said Snell, who threw 30 pitches in the fifth. “It’s just not worth it with a 12-2 lead of going back out again. But at the end of the day I’ve got to do a better job of managing my pitches.”
Rays: RHP Charlie Morton (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen Sunday and Cash said he could rejoin the roster in the upcoming series against the New York Yankees. Morton was placed on the injured list on Aug. 10.
Marlins: 1B/DH Jesus Aguilar (back stiffness) missed his third consecutive game. Aguilar is hitting .280 with a team-leading 20 RBIs.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (1-1, 5.14 ERA) will start the opener of a three-game series against the Yankees on Monday night.
Marlins: LHP Trevor Rogers (0-0, 0.00) will make his second major league start in a make-up game against the New York Mets on Monday. Rogers threw four scoreless innings in his major league debut August 25. The teams sat out the finale of a four-game series Thursday to protest racial injustice and the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, by police in Wisconsin.
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