video thumbnail

MIA@WSH: Alvarez pitches five shutout innings

After having his start pushed back a day because of right elbow stiffness, the Marlins' Henderson Alvarez will take the ball Tuesday as he looks to reverse his career misfortunes against the Rays.

Alvarez, 0-5 lifetime against Tampa Bay, didn't feel right in his last outing -- a five-inning start against Washington on Wednesday -- and he was taken out after 62 pitches. Randy Wolf started in his place on Monday, but manager Mike Redmond said there was no lingering concern with regard to Alvarez's health, and that he'll pitch at Marlins Park in the second game of a four-game home-and-home set.

"I don't know what it was," Redmond said. "Sometimes stuff creeps up on guys like that. Other times, they're fine. He knows himself and his body better than anybody else. If he says he's good to go, then I trust that he's good to go."

The Rays will look to Chris Archer to continue his string of solid outings, as the team attempts to bounce back from a cold streak that saw them lose their seventh straight on Monday. The Marlins edged the Rays, 3-1, in the opener.

Archer has turned in quality starts in his past two outings, but he didn't factor into the decision in either. The 25-year-old right-hander hopes his luck changes on Tuesday, when he makes his first career start against the Marlins.

Archer only has one win to show for his past three outings, despite registering a 1.02 ERA over his last 17 2/3 innings. He pitched six innings and allowed six hits and two earned runs while striking out seven against the high-flying Blue Jays on Wednesday, so Archer (3-2) feels he's ready to face the one of the National League's best offensive teams.

"We've faced a lot of strong teams," said Archer. "We're coming from the AL East, so we know how important it is to execute pitches. And right now [the Marlins] have the best run producer in the game on their team [in Giancarlo Stanton]. It's not foreign to us. It's something we're preparing for week in and week out coming from the American League East."

Archer said that the fact that he's going up against Stanton -- who ranks first in the National League and second in baseball with 51 RBIs -- will not affect his approach. For Archer, he's less concerned about who's at the plate and more concerned with executing his game plan.

"I try not to overwhelm myself with who's in the box, whether they're the best home run hitter in the game or whether they're just getting called up from Triple-A and making their Major League debut," he said. "I know that if I stay within myself, I'm going to be successful."

Rays: It can certainly happen
In the last five years, there have been 10 teams that were 10 or more games under .500 and bounced back to .500. That includes the 2011 Marlins.

Since 1900, the greatest number of games that a team has been under .500 and climbed back to the mark is 18, and it's happened twice: the 2004 Devil Rays and the 2006 Marlins.

Marlins: Moving forward after rough weekend
After being swept in three games by the Braves, the Marlins are looking to rebound in the Citrus Series,

"We know we can play with any of these teams," Redmond said. "But we have to play good baseball. We have to play our brand of baseball. We've got to pitch. We've got to play good defense. We've got to run the bases, and we've got to hit.

The Marlins have been struggling on the field. They made three errors on Saturday in a 9-5 loss to Atlanta. Sloppy defense in Sunday's loss cost Miami a run in the third inning. Derek Dietrich fielded a routine chopper and got an out at second, but his throw to first skipped up on Garrett Jones, allowing the tying run to score.

"This is no different than any other team. I think the key for us is to eliminate our mistakes," Redmond said. "We can't make defensive mistakes and give them extra outs, because that haunts us every time. Pitching is the same way. We know that. That goes in cycles sometimes. But we know what we're capable of. Like I've said all year, this is a resilient group."

Worth noting
• Seven different relievers won games for the Rays in May, including four different relievers in the team's last four wins of the month.

• In Monday's loss to the Marlins, the Rays allowed three runs in the first inning. That was the 34th time this season they have allowed three or more runs in an inning, tops in the Major Leagues.

• Marlins center fielder Marcell Ozuna is showing signs of heating up. He's hit .314 in his last 10 games, with three homers and seven RBIs. He's had at least one hit in eight of those 10 contests and has three two-hit games. Comments