Marlins 7, Devil Rays 6

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MIAMI (AP)—Al Leiter went just long enough to get his first home win of the season.

Mike Lowell and Paul Lo Duca drove in three runs each to back Leiter and lead the Florida Marlins over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-6 Friday night.

Leiter (2-4), whose only other win was against Atlanta on May 3, gave up four runs and six hits in five innings. He had been 0-3 with a 10.19 ERA in his first four home starts.

“A win’s a win,” Leiter said. “Certainly getting the runs early made it a little more relaxing. Not being able to go as deep as I would have liked made it a bit disappointing. I’ll certainly take it.”

Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his fourth save in five chances, giving up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Travis Lee. The Marlins lead the series against their cross-state rival 23-15.

Hideo Nomo (2-4) dropped to 0-7 in 10 starts at Florida, giving up seven runs—six earned—eight hits and four walks in five innings. He is 0-3 in six starts since beating the New York Yankees on April 19.

“The problem was control, just not hitting his spots,” Devil Rays catcher Toby Hall said.

Damon Hollins and Julio Lugo each had two RBIs for the Devil Rays, who lost for the seventh time in nine games. Aubrey Huff had three hits.

“This road trip, we’ve been in every game we’ve played—we just don’t seem to find the formula to win them,” said Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella, whose team is 2-6 on a 10-game trip. “Our starting pitching, we’ve got to get better with it.”

Alex Sanchez, who entered as a defensive replacement in the sixth, doubled in the seventh to reach base for his eighth straight plate appearance, tying a Tampa Bay record. He grounded out in the ninth.

Lowell, who left Wednesday’s game at Los Angeles after being hit in the face by a foul ball, hit a two-run single in the first and an RBI double in the fifth. Lowell entered hitting .180 and in a 2-for-28 slump.

“I saw the ball well tonight, I think I had consistent at-bats,” Lowell said. “It’s baby steps, you know. I just want to have one good at-bat, and then try to have the next one.”

The third baseman also made a diving catch of Nick Green’s line drive with two on and no outs in the sixth.

Hollins’ two-run homer in the second tied the score, but Lo Duca hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom half and added a two-run double in a three-run fourth, when Carlos Delgado hit a run-scoring single that gave the Marlins a 6-3 lead.

Lugo hit an RBI single in the fifth, but Lowell’s double made it 7-4 in the bottom half. Lugo’s groundout drove in a run in the seventh.

Notes

The Devil Rays activated Lee from the DL and designated OF Chris Singleton for assignment. Lee had been sidelined since May 2 with a strained right groin. … The Marlins recalled RHP Logan Kensing from Double-A Carolina. He gave up one run in two innings after relieving Leiter. … Marlins SS Alex Gonzalez was a late scratch due to an eye problem.

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