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Rays 6, Marlins 7: Motter's Homecoming Spoiled

Bad luck and poor choices = Rays loss

Rob Foldy/Getty Images

My 140 character or less recap of the start of the Citrus Series: Bad luck and bad choices.

And now for the slightly longer version.

A Sloppy 1st inning

Rays offense got a quick start on Chen, scoring two in the 1st, with the runs coming from a sharp single by Souza and a bases loaded walk by Taylor Motter. Chen seemed to struggle mightily with command, throwing a pitch to the backstop that got a very fortunate bounce right back to the catcher.

Marcell Ozuna hit what should have been the ground ball out that ended the inning, but some good hustle from Ozuna and bad hustle from Beckham allowed the inning to continue. Beckham has got to make that play, and it cost Moore and the Rays. After a walk to load the bases, the MarlinsMiguel Rojas would hit a weak popper just past Motter into the outfield to score two and take the lead right back 3-2.

Those Dastardly Luck Dragons

Let me sum up the majority of the Marlins offense tonight:

Bloops. Bloops everywhere.

Moore was a bit wild in the 1st inning, but other than a Prado double, he did not give up any strong contact. But weak contact and bad luck turning into runs became a bit of a theme for Moore.

Perhaps the perfect example of what kind of night it was for Matt Moore came in the 4th inning. Miguel Rojas would hit a slapper into shallow right, and some good hustle mixed with sloppy defense lead to a leadoff double. A fly out to Souza in RF was deep enough to get Rojas to 3rd. It then fell to another Ichiro slap hit, this time a 2-pop hit just past Tim Beckham’s glove to score Rojas from 3rd.

Moore was not without fault, as he did give up some sharp hits, especially the HR by Ozuna in the 3rd. However, for the most part Moore was effective and limited the Marlins offense to weak contact throughout the game.

Unfortunately for Moore and the Rays, too many of that weak contact went found grass and not glove.

Homecoming Heroics

The Rays offense doesn’t really do the whole "go quietly" thing anymore. In the 6th inning, the Rays called on two guys making a return to their old stomping grounds.

Taylor Motter grew up in south Florida. He grew up watching and rooting for the Marlins as kid. Taylor’s mom and dad were in attendance. That’s a pretty great stage to set for a beautiful HR bomb to center field for Taylor Motter’s 2nd HR of the season. Oh, and Motter’s homecoming wasn’t done yet, but we’ll get to that a bit later on.

After a, dare I say Kiermaier-esc, hustle double by Brandon Guyer, the former Marlin Logan Morrison got the call to pinch hit. LoMo would work a great at-bat, and drive a hard hit single up the middle to tie the game 6-6.

More Motter Power!

Taylor Motter’s showcase in front of family and friends back in Miami wasn’t finished with an RBI walk and a monster bomb. In the top of the 7th, Motter absolutely crushed a hit to the base of the LF wall, scoring a speeding T-Bex from 1st.

Taylor Motter tried his best to Taylor motor his way to 3rd, but was just a hair late to the bag.

Late Inning Drama

In his 2nd inning of work, Erasmo made a bit of a mess for himself, giving up a hit to Realmuto and a walk to Stanton. But this is ErACEmo we are talking about. He’s the guy that cleans up messes (even his own). Ramirez would strike out both Ozuna and Chris Johnson to escape with another clean inning.

Questionable decision time: in the 8th, Kevin Cash decides to send Erasmo back out to try and work his 3rd inning of the night.

We all love us some Erasmo, and trusting anybody else in this pen (besides Colome) is not easy to do. However, Ramirez seemed fairly tired after working through the 7th, and immediately that questionable decision came back to trouble the Rays with back to back hits for the Miami.

With runners at 1st and 3rd, Enny Romero was tasked with the highly improbable task of holding the one run lead. A quick sac-fly from Cole Gillespie and the 4th base hit from Ichrio would be the end of Romero’s night.

So now it’s a tie game, and runners are still on 1st and 3rd, this time for Alex Colome.

If you remember the theme of the night for Matt Moore was weak contact and bad luck. Well, it turns out we weren’t done with that just yet.

Unable to make a clean catch on a comebacker right at his glove, Colome was forced to take the only out at 1st, giving the Marlins the go-ahead run on a ball hit to the mound.

The Rays would not be able to mount a comeback in the 9th, and would drop their 3rd game in a row.