Marlins rally for 1st win of season, beat Rays 12-7

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MIAMI — The Miami Marlins beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time in three years with a 12-7 victory on Saturday night.

After seven straight losses to the American League champions, the Marlins broke loose with 14 hits, getting the better of their in-state rivals for the first time since July 21, 2018. It was also Miami’s first win this season.

The Marlins, who trailed 6-4 after 4 1/2 innings, tied the game in the fifth and pushed ahead with three runs in both the seventh and eighth.

Miami manager Don Mattingly was pleased with the team’s offensive fireworks.

“Not that we’re going to go out and score a ton of runs every night, but I do think we’re pretty balanced up and down the lineup,” Mattingly said. “We kind of broke the ice last night, and we continued that trend tonight.”

After Garrett Cooper singled home Miguel Rojas, Jon Berti ripped a two-out two-run single to make it 9-6 after seven. Berti also doubled in the second.

Adam Duvall, acquired from the Atlanta Braves in the offseason, blasted his first home run of the season deep to left center in the eighth. Starling Marte followed with an RBI triple and Cooper completed the scoring with a run-scoring double. Marte finished with four hits while Cooper had three. Rookie Jazz Chisholm had two stolen bases.

“It was a fabulous game for us,” Marte said. “We’re competing all the time. We’re doing our job and making good decisions at the plate.”

Said Cooper: “It speaks to the volume of the lineup we have. Everyone is out there battling. Tonight you saw different guys coming through.”

The Rays finished with nine hits.

Manuel Margot, Joey Wendle and Yandy Diaz all had two hits while Mike Zunino homered. Lefty Rich Hill gave up four earned runs in four innings in his first start with the Rays. The 41-year-old struck out four and walked two.

Chris Archer (0-1) took the loss, giving up four runs in two innings of relief. Elieser Hernandez made it through just 2 1/3 innings for the Marlins, who needed six relievers to finish the game.

Richard Bleier (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief in the seventh.

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash agreed that the Marlins brought their best effort to the plate on Saturday.

“They swung the bats very well, squared up a lot of balls,” Cash said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: Manager Don Mattingly confirmed after the game that Hernandez exited early in the top of the third inning with inflammation in his right biceps tendon. Hernandez struck out three and did not walk a batter over two and a third innings. He threw 23 of his 34 pitches for strikes.

UP NEXT

The two teams have a rare Sunday off before games on Monday. Tampa Bay travels to face Boston while Miami hosts St. Louis.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.