MIAMI (AP) — Randy Wolf threw a 68 mph curve for a ball, and his next pitch was even slower and wider. They served their purpose, setting up the 88 mph fastball he threw for a called strike three to Yunel Escobar, who stood at the plate hanging his head before beginning the long walk back to the dugout.
Wolf pitched that way for six innings Monday night and earned his first victory since 2012 when the Miami Marlins beat Tampa Bay 3-1, sending the Rays to their seventh consecutive loss.
The 37-year-old Wolf is making a comeback from the second Tommy John surgery of his career.
"I throw the same as I've always thrown," Wolf said. "It's not like I was a flamethrower ever in my career. I've always thrown 88 (mph), so it's not like I have to make a huge adjustment."
Wolf allowed three hits and one run. He struck out seven, walked one and won for the first time since he pitched Baltimore past Tampa Bay on Sept. 13, 2012.
"Randy was great," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "You saw a veteran go out there and control the strike zone and change speeds and mix and match. He was able to throw all his pitches for strikes and keep them off balance."
The Rays came into the game off balance, and fell to 0-7 on their eight-game trip. They're 12 games below .500 for the first time since 2007, and their record (23-35) is the worst in the American League.
The Rays went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position. They've scored six runs in their past five games.
"I still have a lot of faith in these guys," manager Joe Maddon said. "I'm not wavering on that whatsoever. It's just the particular moment we're in right now. We're going to turn this thing around."
Four Miami relievers completed the six-hitter, and Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 13 chances. The Marlins, coming off a sloppy series against Atlanta, snapped a streak of four consecutive home losses as they started a four-game home-and-home series against their intrastate rivals.
"That felt more like a Marlins game we're used to watching, getting hits when we need to and the pitching staff doing their part," third baseman Casey McGehee said.
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