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GAME OF THE DAY

Rays have a 10-run inning

June 26, 2008|From the Associated Press

MIAMI -- Carl Crawford had two home runs before the Tampa Bay Rays really got started.

Crawford's second home run of the game started a 10-run, 14-batter, 32-minute barrage in the fifth inning, and the Rays defeated the Florida Marlins, 15-3, Wednesday night to stay within one game of first-place Boston in the AL East.

Crawford had a career-high five RBIs. Evan Longoria had three hits and three RBIs, including his 13th homer of the year in that fifth inning, during which the Rays came within one run of matching the biggest inning in franchise history.

"Just a bad day for the Fish," said Marlins Manager Fredi Gonzalez.

"It was nice to watch," said Rays Manager Joe Maddon.

The Rays set season highs for runs scored and for victory margin, and tied a season best with four home runs: Ben Zobrist also connected for Tampa Bay (46-31), which didn't reach the 46-win mark last year until Aug. 15.

"That was something special tonight," Longoria said. "We don't click too often. Tonight hitting just became contagious."

James Shields (5-5) gave up four hits, one run and struck out five over seven innings, getting his first win in eight starts for the Rays.

"Fifteen runs in a game, it's a little easier to pitch that way," Shields said. "I'll take that every game."

The Rays took a 4-0 lead into the fifth, then simply began teeing off against Marlins starter Ryan Tucker (2-2) and just about everyone else who relieved him.

Tucker gave up seven runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, by far the worst start of his four-appearance major league career. In two outings against the Rays, Tucker is 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA; against anyone else, he's 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA.

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