ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rookie left-hander Josh Fleming won his third consecutive start, Michael Perez hit a three-run double and the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays beat the Miami Marlins 5-4 on Friday night.
Yoshi Tsutsugo homered for the Rays, who have won 20 of 25. Tampa Bay has a nine-game winning streak against Miami.
The Marlins got homers from Corey Dickerson and Jesús Aguilar.
Fleming (3-0) allowed four runs and seven hits over five innings in joining Jake Faria (2017) and Jeremy Hellickson (2010) as the only Rays pitcher to win their first three major league starts.
“It's very very cool to me,” Fleming said. “Hopefully I can get the fourth win next time.”
Nick Anderson, the fourth Tampa Bay reliever, worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the ninth to get his fourth save.
After Kevin Kiermaier drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk on a 3-2 pitch in the fourth from Pablo López (3-3), Perez put the Rays up 5-2 on his bases-clearing double.
“I like to hit with runners on base,” Perez said through a translator.
Jon Berti got the Marlins within 5-4 on his two-run double in the fifth that just went over a leaping Kiermaier in centre .
Lopez gave up five runs and five hits in five innings.
“They started making me work harder,” Lopez said. “They were taking good pitches. They were forcing me to throw in the strike zone when I was behind in the count. They took a couple of walks. Then a 2-1 count with the bases loaded, I come in the zone and the guy put a barrel on it.”
Dickerson homered in the third and Aguilar connected one inning later to make it 2-1.
Tsutsugo hit a solo shot during the second.
Marlins: RHP Ryne Stanek (undisclosed) was reinstated from the 10-day IL.
Rays: Anderson (right forearm inflammation) returned from the 10-day IL.
Snell (3-0) will face Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-1) on Saturday night.
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Mark Didtler, The Associated Press