The Rays dropped back down to the .500 mark after a 3-2 extra inning loss to the Miami Marlins. After the high energy of the last several series, this one felt like a let down. But then, it always feels that way when you lose, right?
The Rays didn’t get many threats, but the first came in the second inning. Wilson Ramos went with a 1-0 Chen fastball and deposited into the right field corner for a double. An out later, C.J. Cron singled just over of the head of a leaping Riddle at short, putting runners at the corners for Carlos Gomez. Gomez hit the 2-0 change up sharply, but right at Miguel Rojas for the around the horn double play to end the threat.
The Marlins took the lead in the second thanks in part to some unfortunate positioning. With Starlin Castro on first after an earlier single, Rojas lined a double past Duffy. There was a decent chance to score Castro on the play in any event, but the Rays had Daniel Robertson shifted well into left center, allowing the runner to score from first handily.
Willy Adames led off the third with a single. But because pitchers hitting is stupid, and Kevin Kiermaier thinks that somehow the same pitch off the plate that was called strike two would somehow be a ball on the very next pitch, nothing came of it.
The Rays tied things up in the fourth. A couple swings after Shopacoptering one into the camera well, DRob hit a routine grounder to the shifted Castro ... who promptly booted it. And while Castro was hanging his head and feeling sorry for himself, and Riddle was saying to himself dude how did you miss that? instead of retrieving the ball, DRob motored into second.
Did you fellas not get the memo? Do not sleep on these Rays!
A Ramos grounder to second and a Adeiny Hechavarria fly to right later — amazing throw from Brian Anderson notwithstanding — and the game was tied.
The Marlins loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Eovadli then got ahead of Lee Brinson 0-2, but his put away slider was sent back through the middle. The ball was ticketed for a single, but Brinson got it just off the end of the bat, and it also hit the mound on the way through. This allowed Hechavarria, despite playing well in, to move left several steps, snag the grounder, spin and fire home in time to get the force on Castro.
MUST C: 360 throw prevents Marlins from taking the lead.#Glovework Adeiny Hechavarria! Nice by Eovaldi.— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) July 3, 2018
All of the Citrus Series @RaysBaseball action is LIVE now on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports Go! #RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/7obrNrZxM0
Wei-Yin Chin then grounded to second to end the rally, because pitchers hitting is brilliant.
In the bottom of the fifth, with two outs, nobody on, and Eovaldi ahead in the count, Nate hung a split to J.T. Realmuto. The catcher didn’t miss it.
The Rays didn’t get much in the way of rallies all night. Chen gave up just the one unearned run on three hits. There was C.J. Cron single (literally) off something called a Drew Steckenrider in the seventh, and a walk by Kiermaier against Adam Conley in the eighth. So if it sounds like there wasn’t much offense happening, that’s because there wasn’t much offense happening. It was really a pretty boring game. I guess we were due.
There was some fun defense though.
Here is Willy being Willy.
Willy is out here to ruin someone's day. pic.twitter.com/04h562wZWH— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) July 3, 2018
There was also a nice play where C.J. Cron fielded a slow roller by Justin Bour and shoveled it to Matt Andriese covering first for the 3-1 putout, but apparently everybody with control of these sorts of things had stopped paying attention by then so I couldn’t find video evidence of it for you guys anywhere. So you’ll have to trust me when I say it was pretty sweet on behalf of both guys.
The Rays prolonged the agony in the ninth when the Fox Sports Sun graphics put the whammy on the Kyle Bearclaw...Bearaclaugh...Barracl...whatever, you know who I mean, I’m not looking it up — pointing out that he hadn’t given up a run in 20 2⁄3 innings.
DRob promptly lined a hanger into left for the first hit Baraccuda had given up in like a month. But after Ramos flew out and Bauers reached on a fielders choice, it looked like the whammy was for naught.
But then C.J. Cron did this, and Jake Bauers did this, and we got us some free baseball ... on a work night.
Clutch, Clutch, Clutch! TIE GAME@RaysBaseball C.J. Cron doubles with 2 outs in the 9th to tie the game!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) July 3, 2018
All of the Citrus Series action is LIVE now on FOX Sports Sun and FOX Sports Go! #RaysUp #MLB pic.twitter.com/bEuHvVPa5N
After a solid 9th from Diego Castillo, Ryne Stanek got the call for the tenth. He walked Brian Anderson on four pitches. But luckily, that never comes back to haunt you!
J.T. Realmuto poked a single to center to put runners on the corners. The Rays pulled the infield in, and Yadiel Rivera chopped one up the third base line. Matt Duffy fielded it with a remote shot at getting Anderson at the plate, but looked to have trouble getting it out of his glove. His eventual off balance throw was wide and up the first line.
3-2 Marlins, and ballgame.
The Rays send Ryan Yarbrough to the hill tomorrow at 7:10 PM against Trevor Richards as they try to get back over the .500 mark in the second game of this set.