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Tampa Bay at Florida

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (45-31) «002000022691
Florida (40-36)100100101480

Rays 6, Marlins 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- Joe Nelson missed by a couple of inches, and that was all the space the Tampa Bay Rays needed for yet another win.

Dioner Navarro and Eric Hinske drew bases-loaded walks off Nelson in the eighth inning to give Tampa Bay the lead, Evan Longoria hit a two-run double in the ninth and the Rays beat the Florida Marlins 6-4 on Tuesday night to stay within one game of Boston in the AL East.

Akinori Iwamura had three hits, including his fifth home run, and Carl Crawford added two hits for the Rays, who improved to 3-25 when trailing after seven innings.

"We pitched well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We did not play well."

Troy Percival walked four Marlins in the ninth but still managed his 18th save in 20 chances and No. 342 of his career, moving him past Rollie Fingers into ninth on the career list.

"Rollie was one of my idols, so it's great to say I did what he did," said Percival, who acknowledged that his troublesome hamstring was sore Tuesday. "But I don't have the time to look back at these numbers now."

Jorge Cantu had two hits for the Marlins, who fell to 32-3 when leading after seven. Marlins starter Scott Olsen allowed four hits and struck out four in seven innings, but left without a win for the ninth straight time dating back to May 6.

"Personal wins are nice. They're good for arbitration," Olsen said. "But we're trying to catch the Phillies right now."

He did his part. Instead, his bullpen failed Tuesday, allowing four runs in two innings to waste a 3-2 lead.

The Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against Renyel Pinto (2-3) on three straight singles, two of which never left the infield. Iwamura singled to right, and Willy Aybar followed with a bunt single off the third-base bag. Crawford then hit a ball to the right of first baseman Mike Jacobs, who fielded it cleanly, but had no chance to throw the speedy Crawford out.

"At least he didn't walk three guys or that kind of stuff," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It wasn't as bad as the linescore will look."

Still, that was it for Pinto, and the Marlins summoned Nelson -- who was one strike away from escaping.

He got two grounders to force runners at home, then went to a 3-2 count on Navarro, but missed inside and Crawford scored the tying run. He then had another full count on Hinske, missed away, and B.J. Upton scored for a 4-3 lead.

"It's a tough spot," Nelson said, "but one I should have gotten out of."

Longoria's two-out, two-run double in the ninth stretched the margin to 6-3, sending most in the announced crowd of 12,352 heading for the exits.

They missed some drama.

The Marlins loaded the bases on three straight one-out walks against Percival in the ninth. Florida got within 6-4 on Josh Willingham's grounder to third, which Longoria dove to keep in the infield and then flipped to second to force Cantu for the second out.

Percival walked Dan Uggla, the majors' home run leader entering Tuesday with 23, to load the bases once again. But Jacobs grounded to second, Percival pumped his right arm in the air, and the Rays escaped.

"Good teams win ugly games," Percival said.

Florida took the lead in the seventh -- and put Olsen in position for that elusive win -- on a play that seemed harmless when it began.

Jeremy Hermida drew a walk against J.P. Howell (6-0) with two outs. Cantu followed with a ball to left-center that Crawford overran a bit. The ball skipped off Crawford's glove, Upton couldn't grab the carom, Cantu had a double and Hermida scored without a throw for a 3-2 lead.

Florida started quickly against Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine, when Hanley Ramirez -- now the NL leader in All-Star shortstop balloting -- hit a leadoff double and scored on Hermida's single. Sonnanstine settled down from there, and left after yielding six hits and two runs in five innings, striking out five and walking two.

Notes

The Marlins optioned reliever Matt Lindstrom to Triple-A Albuquerque after the game and will make another move Wednesday to fill his roster spot. ... Sonnanstine hasn't reached the six-inning mark in any of his last six starts -- yet hasn't lasted less than five in any of them, either. ... Olsen now has 84 career starts without a complete game, sixth most among active pitchers.

 
Copyright 2014 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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Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

A. Iwamura
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Florida

J. Cantu
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B5232001 .273
Willy Aybar, 1B5010002 .253
Carl Crawford, LF4220110 .282
B.J. Upton, CF4100104 .283
Evan Longoria, 3B5012003 .248
Dioner Navarro, C3011202 .323
Jonny Gomes, RF3000012 .212
   a- Eric Hinske, PH0001100 .258
    Dan Wheeler, P0000000 .000
    Troy Percival, P0000000 .000
Jason Bartlett, SS4010014 .246
Andy Sonnanstine, P0100100 .667
    J.P. Howell, P1000011 .000
    Gabe Gross, RF1000000 .233
Totals3569664  
a-walked for Gomes in the 8th
Batting
2B - Akinori Iwamura (12, Miller), Evan Longoria (16, Miller), Dioner Navarro (13, Olsen)
HR - Akinori Iwamura (5, Olsen)
SH - Andy Sonnanstine (2)
RBI - Akinori Iwamura 2 (21), Evan Longoria 2 (39), Dioner Navarro (29), Eric Hinske (40)
2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (8), Dioner Navarro (18), Eric Hinske (12)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
PB - Dioner Navarro (3)
E - Carl Crawford (2, Missed catch of throw)
Tampa Bay Rays
Andy Sonnanstine 5622250 4.85
J.P. Howell (W,6-0) 2110140 2.90
Dan Wheeler (H,18) 1100010 1.78
Troy Percival (S,18) 1011410 3.08
IBB - Hoover by Andy Sonnanstine
WP - Andy Sonnanstine 2 (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 102-64, J.P. Howell 35-21, Dan Wheeler 15-7, Troy Percival 31-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 6-4, J.P. Howell 1-1, Dan Wheeler 1-1, Troy Percival 2-0
Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 23, J.P. Howell 8, Dan Wheeler 4, Troy Percival 7
Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS4210112 .294
Jeremy Hermida, RF2111300 .273
Jorge Cantu, 3B4020111 .284
Josh Willingham, LF5011024 .333
Dan Uggla, 2B4000132 .290
Mike Jacobs, 1B5110003 .239
Cody Ross, CF4010001 .219
Paul Hoover, C3000121 .300
Scott Olsen, P2011000 .143
   a- Wes Helms, PH1000010 .252
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Joe Nelson, P0000000 .000
    Justin Miller, P0000000 .000
   b- Luis Gonzalez, PH1000010 .272
Totals35483711  
a-struck out for Olsen in the 7th
b-struck out for Miller in the 9th
Batting
2B - Hanley Ramirez (13, Sonnanstine), Jorge Cantu (19, Howell), Mike Jacobs (12, Sonnanstine)
RBI - Jeremy Hermida (38), Josh Willingham (17), Scott Olsen (3)
2-OUT RBI - Scott Olsen (3)
Team LOB - 11
Florida Marlins
Scott Olsen 7422241 3.44
Renyel Pinto (L,2-3)0322000 3.16
Joe Nelson (BS,2) 0.2000200 1.32
Justin Miller 1.1222200 4.29
IBB - Crawford by Justin Miller
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Olsen 86-55, Renyel Pinto 15-11, Joe Nelson 14-10, Justin Miller 29-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Olsen 4-13, Joe Nelson 2-0, Justin Miller 1-3
Batters Faced - Scott Olsen 27, Renyel Pinto 3, Joe Nelson 4, Justin Miller 8
Game Information
Attendance - 12352
Game Time - 3:18
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Jerry Meals