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Late-inning homers end Tampa Bay losing skid

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Aubrey Huff raised his arms in celebration as soon as the ball left his bat.

The struggling slugger's 10th-inning home run gave the Tampa Bay Devil Rays a 5-4 victory Friday night over the Florida Marlins and also gave him the added satisfaction of helping his former minor league manager get his first big league win.

Bill Evers, in his first season as a major league coach, is filling in during the first two games of the interleague series while manager Joe Maddon is attending his girlfriend's graduation from law school in California.

"I haven't hit that many balls hard. It's good to get something going and contribute," said Huff, who also had a RBI double and went 2-for-4 after beginning the night batting .123 with no homers.

"When we were out there on defense, I was thinking it would be fitting to hit a walk-off homer for Bill. ... I told him after the game: `This is for you."'

Toby Hall, another of Evers' former players in the minors, homered in the ninth to get the Devil Rays to extra innings.

Evers, who managed 19 years in the minors, was doused with cold beer when he entered the clubhouse after the game.

"It couldn't have worked out any better," he said.

The Devil Rays ended a seven-game losing streak in an intrastate rivalry that's never really taken off with fans in the Sunshine State. Attendance at Tropicana Field was announced as 10,017 -- lowest ever for a home game against the Marlins.

Hall led off the ninth with a first-pitch homer off Joe Borowski, while Huff -- out most of April with a sprained knee -- connected off Yusmeiro Petit (0-1).

"It's almost like we're finding new ways to lose, and you thought you saw every way there could be. It's frustrating," Borowski said. "For the most part, we're in a lot of games and we need to figure out how to put these games away."

Tyler Walker (1-2) pitched one inning to get the win, Tampa Bay's first in 21 tries when trailing after eight innings.

Florida's Dan Uggla hit a solo homer off Devil Rays starter Casey Fossum, who left after four innings because of a mild left groin strain.

The Devil Rays scored on Huff's run-scoring double in the first and Joey Gathright's RBI grounder in the fifth before Travis Lee lined a run-scoring single to right-center to put Tampa Bay ahead 3-2 in the sixth.

Lee, who grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners in scoring position in the fourth, had been 0-for-28 in those situations this season and 0-for-33 dating to 2005. He also came to the plate with runners at first and second and the Devil Rays trailing 4-3, and struck out to end the eighth.

The Marlins took the 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth after loading the bases on Miguel Cabrera's single off Travis Harper and two walks. Joe Borchard singled to center off Shawn Camp, driving in two to put Florida in position to win for the first time when trailing after seven innings.

Fossum allowed two runs and four hits in four innings. Besides Uggla's sixth homer, the left-hander gave up an RBI single in the second to Reggie Abercrombie, who extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.

Marlins starter Brian Moehler pitched seven strong innings, allowing three runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out four before departing with the 4-3 lead.

Notes

  • Uggla tied the Marlins record for home runs by a second baseman. Luis Castillo had six in 2003 and Damion Easley hit six each of the past two seasons.
  • Abercrombie's hitting streak matches the longest of the year by a Marlins player. Hanley Ramirez had an 11-game streak from May 3-14.
  • Fossum's early exit stopped a stretch of four consecutive starts in which the left-hander worked at least six innings.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Marlins manager Joe Girardi is ejected in the sixth inning, after arguing a close play at first base.  (AP)
Marlins manager Joe Girardi is ejected in the sixth inning, after arguing a close play at first base. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

A. Huff
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

T. Hall
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Florida Marlins
Reggie Abercrombie, CF5011031 .248
Dan Uggla, 2B5111014 .308
Miguel Cabrera, DH5120001 .336
Josh Willingham, LF4100101 .277
Wes Helms, 3B4010001 .240
Mike Jacobs, 1B3000111 .216
Joe Borchard, RF4012001 .219
Miguel Olivo, C4110012 .240
Robert Andino, SS3020100 .250
Totals374943612 
Batting
2B - Miguel Cabrera (16, Fossum)
HR - Dan Uggla (6, Fossum)
SH - Wes Helms (1)
RBI - Reggie Abercrombie (12), Dan Uggla (21), Joe Borchard 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Reggie Abercrombie (4)
SB - Robert Andino (1, 2nd base off Harper/Hall)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Uggla-Andino-Jacobs
E - Robert Andino (1, Wild throw)
Florida Marlins
Brian Moehler 7632140 7.29
Logan Kensing (H,2) 1100130 5.14
Joe Borowski (BS,1) 1211111 4.96
Yusmeiro Petit (L,0-1)0111001 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Moehler 89-59, Logan Kensing 16-10, Joe Borowski 23-13, Yusmeiro Petit 6-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Moehler 11-6, Joe Borowski 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Moehler 28, Logan Kensing 5, Joe Borowski 6, Yusmeiro Petit 1
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Julio Lugo, SS5010011 .245
Carl Crawford, LF4110111 .266
Jonny Gomes, DH5110012 .284
Aubrey Huff, 3B4122101 .145
Ty Wigginton, 2B3010112 .250
Travis Lee, 1B4011023 .195
Toby Hall, C4221011 .290
Damon Hollins, RF-CF4010000 .257
Joey Gathright, CF3001000 .198
   a- Greg Norton, PH1000010 .258
    Russell Branyan, RF0000000 .193
Totals3751053811 
a-struck out for Gathright in the 9th
Batting
2B - Julio Lugo (4, Borowski), Jonny Gomes (8, Moehler), Aubrey Huff (2, Moehler), Toby Hall (8, Moehler)
HR - Aubrey Huff (1, Petit), Toby Hall (5, Borowski)
RBI - Aubrey Huff 2 (7), Travis Lee (9), Toby Hall (14), Joey Gathright (7)
2-OUT RBI - Aubrey Huff (2), Travis Lee (5)
SB - Julio Lugo (6, 3rd base off Borowski/Olivo), Jonny Gomes (1, 3rd base off Moehler/Olivo)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Lee-Huff
E - Damon Hollins (1, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Casey Fossum 4422121 5.19
Brian Meadows 2200010 5.14
Travis Harper (H,3) 1222110 4.86
Shawn Camp (BS,1) 2100120 3.20
Tyler Walker (W,1-3) 1000000 8.27
IBB - Jacobs by Shawn Camp
Pitches-Strikes - Casey Fossum 53-33, Brian Meadows 26-18, Travis Harper 24-14, Shawn Camp 22-15, Tyler Walker 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Casey Fossum 6-4, Brian Meadows 1-4, Travis Harper 2-0, Shawn Camp 2-1, Tyler Walker 1-2
Batters Faced - Casey Fossum 17, Brian Meadows 8, Travis Harper 6, Shawn Camp 7, Tyler Walker 3
Game Information
Attendance - 10017
Game Time - 2:47
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg