Roberto Hernandez goes 8 2/3 innings for the win

Rays pull within 3 games of Boston in Al East race

MIAMI (AP) - Roberto Hernandez bounced back from two rough outings and pitched 8 2-3 innings, leading the Tampa Bay Rays over Miami 3-1 Wednesday night and sending the Marlins to their season-worst eighth straight loss.

Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar each drove in a run as the Rays won their fourth in row. Tampa Ray has taken 12 of its last 13 against the Marlins and improved to an AL-best 8-1 in interleague play this year.

The teams played in just 2 hours, 13 minutes.

Hernandez (3-5) allowed a combined 10 runs in six innings during his previous two starts against Baltimore and the New York Yankees. But he limited Miami to just one unearned run and three hits, striking out five.

Chris Coghlan hit a leadoff double in the Miami first and later scored on a throwing error by right fielder Matt Joyce. After Coghlan's hit, Hernandez retired 26 of the next 27 batters, including 15 in a row at one point.

Placido Polanco singled with two outs in the ninth, prompting manager Joe Maddon to lift Hernandez in favor of Fernando Rodney. The Rays' closer got Derek Dietrich to fly out to earn his 10th save in 15 opportunities.

Tom Koehler (0-3) gave up three runs and seven hits in eight innings. The Marlins have dropped 15 of their last 17.

The Rays started quickly. Ben Zobrist began the game with a single, Joyce doubled and Johnson hit an RBI single. Evan Longoria grounded into a double play, scoring Joyce.

Escobar added an insurance run in the seventh with a sacrifice fly that drove in James Loney, who doubled and advanced on a single by Desmond Jennings.

Marlins rookie Marcell Ozuna singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active string in the majors.

NOTES: Hernandez's last complete game was Sept. 10, 2010, against Minnesota while he was with Cleveland and known as Fausto Carmona. ... Ozuna's streak if the third-longest in club history among rookies. Edgar Renteria had a 22-game hitting streak in 1996. ... The Rays recalled RHP Alex Colome from Triple-A Durham and optioned RHP Jake Odorizzi. ... Miami 31-year-old INF Ed Lucas earned his first big league callup after 10 years in the minors, but did not see action in the game. In a corresponding move, INF Nick Green was designated for assignment. ... Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore (8-0, 2.21 ERA) takes the mound against Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (3-5, 3.65 ERA) on Thursday in the final game between the two clubs this season.
 

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