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Rocky 1st inning costly as Rays' losing streak reaches 7 games with 3-1 loss at Miami

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MIAMI - The Tampa Bay Rays gave up a walk to start the first inning, and then third baseman Evan Longoria failed to come up with a grounder.

More of the same, in other words.

Lots of little things added up to another defeat Monday night, and the Rays' losing streak reached seven games when they were beaten by the Miami Marlins 3-1.

"It's beyond frustrating," said Alex Cobb, who pitched six innings. "I really don't know what to say. This has gone on too long. We've got to figure something out. This is not how we play baseball around here. We're going to have to figure it out quick."

Cobb endured a rocky start, and the offence again sputtered against Randy Wolf, who pitched six innings for his first victory since 2012.

"After a game like this, you nitpick a lot," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "You're going to make some mistakes in the course of a game. But when you don't hit you just can't cover it."

The Rays went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position, and they've scored six runs in their past five games.

They're 0-7 on their eight-game trip, and 12 games below .500 for the first time since 2007. Their record (23-35) is the worst in the American League.

"The worm's going to turn, man," Maddon said. "I still have a lot of faith in these guys. 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."

Cobb (1-3) paid dearly for a bad first inning. After he walked Christian Yelich, Ed Lucas hit a grounder that skipped past Longoria and was ruled a single.

The Marlins went on to score all three of their runs in the inning.

"You can't lead off the game with a walk," Cobb said. "After that, I got groundballs. They found holes. In situations like that, I'm looking for groundballs. Unfortunately, they found some holes."

The 37-year-old Wolf (1-1), making a comeback from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, 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."

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.

Wolf didn't pitch in 2013 and was making his second start of this year. He struck out five of the first eight batters he faced, and after Desmond Jennings doubled home a run in the fifth, Wolf retired the next three hitters.

NOTES: Rays SS Yunel Escobar (quad) was back in the lineup after missing two starts. ... Tampa Bay RF Wil Myers (wrist), who went on the disabled list Sunday, is awaiting further test results but is expected to be sidelined three to six weeks, the team said. ... Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (elbow surgery) threw 50 pitches in a simulated game in Port Charlotte and said he felt good. He'll likely make at least three rehab starts but is on schedule to return before the All-Star break. ... Marlins 2B Derek Dietrich was given the night off after a succession of defensive gaffes. ... Before the first pitch, the wives of Marlins players beat the Rays wives in a softball game. ... Henderson Alvarez (2-3, 2.97 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday for Miami against Chris Archer (3-2, 4.00).

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