(SportsNetwork.com) - The Tampa Bay Rays will try again to get untracked when they close out an eight-game road trip Tuesday against the Miami Marlins.
The Rays have lost seven in a row and opened this Citrus Series with Monday's 3-1 setback at Marlins Park. The Rays, who will host Miami next for two games at Tropicana Field, were down, 3-0, in the first inning and starting pitcher Alex Cobb was dealt the loss.
Cobb settled down after the rocky first inning and lasted six innings. He scattered five hits, struck out five and walked two. Desmond Jennings had an RBI double in the fifth inning to provide the scoring got Tampa Bay, which is 12 games under .500, the most games under that mark since finishing the 2007 season at 66-96 in their final season as the Devil Rays.
The Rays are in the midst of their longest losing streak since dropping 11 straight in 2009. Tampa Bay has lost nine straight on the road and has been outscored by a 51-19 margin in that span.
"It's beyond frustrating," said Cobb on his team's losing streak. "There's no words. This has gone on too long."
Tampa Bay will start an eight-game homestand Wednesday versus the Marlins, Seattle Mariners and St. Louis Cardinals.
The Rays will hand the ball to Chris Archer Tuesday and he has posted two straight no-decisions, including last Wednesday's 3-2 loss at Toronto. He pitched well and allowed two runs in six innings with seven strikeouts and two walks. Archer has struck out at least five in each of his last three starts.
Archer, who has given up only two runs in the previous three outings, has never faced the Marlins. The right-hander is 1-1 in six road starts.
Marlins veteran starting pitcher Randy Wolf was excellent in Monday's win, tossing six innings of three-hit, one-run ball with seven K's and one walk.
"Randy was great tonight," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "It was a tremendous effort, exactly what we needed."
Casey McGehee had a two-run single in the big first inning and Ed Lucas finished with two hits for the Marlins, who rebounded from a three-game weekend sweep at the hands of the Atlanta Braves. Miami's win pulled the club within 2 1/2 games of Atlanta for the NL East lead. The Braves were off Monday and start a two-game set with Seattle tonight.
The Marlins, who are 21-11 at home, will depart south Florida for the next seven games versus the Rays, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. They have a disappointing 8-17 mark as the visitor this season.
Henderson Alvarez was pushed back a day because of elbow stiffness and will give it a go Tuesday for the Marlins. Alvarez pitched five innings in his last start, an 8-5 win at Washington last Wednesday, and did not figure into the decision.
Alvarez is 2-3 in 11 starts with a 2.97 ERA and Miami has won each of his last three appearances. The Marlins are 5-1 in the right-hander's last six outings. Alvarez hopes to find success against the Rays and is 0-5 lifetime in this series (5 starts).
Miami lost all four meetings with Tampa Bay last season. The Marlins ended a five-game slide in this series Monday and were winless in the previous six meetings with the Rays at home. Tampa Bay is still 13-2 in the last 15 matchups between the clubs.