Dietrich homers twice in Marlins’ 6-5 win over Rays
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Derek Dietrich didn’t give himself much of an All-Star break, and on Friday night it paid off.
Dietrich homered twice, including a three-run shot in the seventh inning that broke a tie, to help Dan Straily and the Miami Marlins resume their season with a 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I took one day (off) and I hit three days,” Dietrich said. “Some guys hit, some take it off. I love to work, I’ve always worked, and I’ve been in a good rhythm. I just wanted to keep it going, so I hit and I worked. I’m glad I did it.”
Dietrich’s 13th homer came off left-hander Hoby Milner after two walks by Diego Castillo (1-1). Miami added two more runs in the inning with the help of a couple of errors to take a 6-1 lead.
Mallex Smith’s bases-loaded triple helped the Rays score four runs in the ninth before Adam Conley struck out Daniel Robertson to end it with two runners on.
Straily (4-4) pitched seven innings, giving up one run and four hits. Conley, the fourth Marlins reliever, earned his first career save.
Conley filled in for closer Kyle Barraclough, who was sick to his stomach back at the team hotel.
It was the sixth win in eight games for the Marlins, who are 22-18 since June 3.
“We’ve been playing good baseball for a while now,” Conley said. “We just wanted to pick up where we left off before the break.”
Dietrich drove in the game’s first run with a homer off Tampa Bay starter Nathan Eovaldi in the third. The left fielder, who also had a single, is hitting .431 in 20 road games since June 1.
Kevin Kiermaier, who left the game in the fifth inning with a bruised right foot, led off the first with a double and scored the Rays’ first run on Adeiny Hechavarria’s single.
Eovaldi, who was being scouted by several teams ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, gave up one run and six hits, striking out eight. After he walked nobody in six innings, the Rays’ bullpen walked three batters in the seventh and all of them scored.
The Rays, who took their 22nd one-run loss of the season, got four of their eight hits in the ninth.
“We looked like a team that had four days off up until the ninth inning,” manager Kevin Cash said. “Other than Nate Eovaldi’s performance, there really wasn’t anything going.”
Cash said the plan for Wilson Ramos, who sat out the All-Star Game with a strained left hamstring after being elected the starting AL catcher, will be additional testing if there is not rapid progression this weekend. “I think it’s fair to say he’s going to be out for a little bit,” Cash said.
Marlins: RHP Tayron Guerrero (left lumbar strain) will start a rehab assignment at Double-A Jacksonville on Saturday. ... RHP Sandy Alcantara (infection) threw a 35-pitch bullpen.
Rays: 3B Matt Duffy was scratched due to back spasms. . LHP Jonny Venters (strained right hamstring) could return next week. . RHP Jake Faria (left oblique strain) will need at least two more minor league starts, including Sunday for Triple-A Durham, before coming back.
Marlins: CF Connor Scott, a first-round draft pick this year, has gone 5 for 9 over his last two games with the rookie-level GCL Marlins, raising his batting average from .093 to .173.
Rays: Double-A Montgomery has an “opener” listed as Saturday’s starter. The big league club has used a reliever to open a bullpen day 38 times.
RHP Pablo Lopez (1-1) will make his fourth career start Saturday night for the Marlins against Rays opener Ryne Stanek (1-2).
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