The Devil Rays have had few highlights since entering the league in 1998, but they enjoyed a month-long stretch of success against NL opponents in 2004.
Tampa Bay posted a major league-best 15-3 interleague mark last season, giving them a 40-39 record on July 4. The Devil Rays reeled off a franchise-record 12 straight wins during the month of June, with 11 in a row coming against NL foes.
It turned out to be the highlight of the season as the Devil Rays went 30-52 down the stretch to finish with 91 losses.
Right-hander Hideo Nomo will try to continue Tampa Bay’s interleague success in the series opener. But the Japanese right-hander has struggled more against the Marlins than any other opponent, going 4-10 with a 4.57 ERA in 18 starts. He’s 0-9 with a 5.59 ERA in his career at Dolphins Stadium.
Florida heads into the series after taking two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“Delgado actually hit a pretty darn good pitch out of the ballpark,” Dodgers catcher Paul Bako said.
Delgado’s home run was his sixth of the season and second in two games. The Marlins first baseman is beginning to get hot at the plate, hitting .333 with four home runs and 13 RBIs over the last 15 games.
Florida lost All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell to a nose injury in the second inning Wednesday after he lost a pop fly in the sun and the ball hit him in the face.
“I knew I was going to get it in the sun. Most people turn away, but I’m not that smart,” Lowell said. “It hit a little bit of my nose and a lot of my upper mouth. It’s just real sore, but I’m glad it’s not broken. I guess it would have been scary if it hit me higher on the nose, and then I had to have surgery and ruin this beautiful face.”
Lowell, who is day-to-day, should be in the lineup Friday.