Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 6/10/12
The Tampa Bay Rays have dominated the Miami Marlins in their recent interleague matchups, including a pair of remarkable outings from James Shields. The right-hander looks to help Tampa Bay complete a three-game sweep Sunday for its seventh consecutive victory over host Miami, which has dropped the first five of a nine-game homestand. The Rays have outscored the Marlins 36-11 while winning the last six meetings, including a 13-4 rout on Saturday. Ben Zobrist homered twice and Elliot Johnson went 4 for 5 with three RBIs. Zobrist is 6 for 13 over his last three games, though he's still hitting only .218 on the season. "It's been a long couple of months for me trying to get things going and hopefully this is a sign of good things to come," Zobrist said. AL East-leading Tampa Bay (34-25) has won three straight after dropping six of its previous eight. "During the course of a baseball season you're going to do it right sometimes and sometimes you're going to mess it up," manager Joe Maddon said. "Tonight we didn't mess it up. We got it right." The Rays' run against Miami began with Shields tossing a three-hitter with a career-high 13 strikeouts in a 4-0 victory May 22 of last season. He followed that up by allowing one unearned run while fanning 10 in a four-hit, 2-1 win June 19. Shields (6-4, 4.27 ERA), though, hasn't been nearly as good lately. His ERA has jumped from 3.63 after losing consecutive starts. He gave up six runs - five earned - in six innings of a 7-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on May 29, then allowed seven runs - five earned - in five innings of Tuesday's 7-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium. Shields' two strikeouts in the last outing were his fewest in his last 24 starts including the postseason, and he'll look to bounce back against a Marlins offense that has sputtered of late. Miami (31-28) has dropped five in a row - one shy of its season high - after winning seven of nine, scoring a combined eight runs during the skid. Justin Ruggiano went 2 for 3 with a three-run homer Saturday. "We played terrible," manager Ozzie Guillen said. Carlos Zambrano left Saturday's start in the third inning with lower back stiffness after giving up seven runs, forcing Guillen to use four relievers to finish the game. He hopes Anibal Sanchez can give the bullpen a bit of a rest with a solid outing. Sanchez (3-4, 3.19), though, allowed season highs of seven runs and eight hits over 6 2-3 innings of an 11-0 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday. He dropped to 1-4 with a 4.64 ERA in his last five outings. "The main thing is, I'm healthy," Sanchez told the team's official website. "That's baseball. The rest of the story, everybody knows. I missed a lot of pitches. I think I was behind for a lot of the counts. But I'm fine." The right-hander is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts against the Rays. Giancarlo Stanton went 2 for 4 with a double Saturday, ending an 0 for 14 slump versus Tampa Bay.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Patriots apologize for charging fans $5 for tap water

If you don't appreciate Aaron Judge yet, there's still time

Jerry Jones kneels with players prior to anthem, later stands

Jim Harbaugh wants Big Ten to address ‘unsportsmanlike’ opposing locker rooms

Yasiel Puig to play Tuesday after being benched two games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The strangest, oddest, most ridiculous developments of NFL Week 3

LeBron on Irving trade: I was ready to give him the keys

Josh Norman to Raiders WRs: ‘Do not run your mouth’

Marcus Smart lost a lot of weight in offseason to become more athletic

Report: Bucs LB Lavonte David week-to-week with ankle sprain

These ‘Jeopardy!’ contestants had no clue on NFL questions

After Carmelo Anthony trade, the Western Conference looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

NFL Week 3 predictions

The 'MLB is as powerful as ever' quiz

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

After Melo trade, the West looks completely different

The 'Celebrations are afoot in Philadelphia' quiz

Getaway Day: Closing time on 2017 regular season

Sports & Politics Intersect: Mayor Garcetti rolls back the NFL red carpet

The 'Greatest Show temporarily not on turf' quiz

Separating MLS playoff contenders from pretenders

WNBA Finals preview: Lynx look for revenge against Sparks

Three Up, Three Down: The home runs just keep on coming

The 'Chris Sale joins an elite club' quiz

Building on the NFL's positive changes beyond 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker