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Rays 5, Marlins 6: Welcome Back Boys

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One great inning can’t make up for eight lackluster ones.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re a fan of limited early offense and missed opportunities, but also love late-inning runs that’ll break your heart out, you were probably a giant fan of this Rays-Marlins game. A Rays’ loss is quite a way to return from an All-Star Break. Also Kevin Kiermaier might be injured again? It’s impossible to say.

The Rays and the Marlins traded a run each in the early innings of the game, then settled into a weird sort of rut. The game sure started nice, with a hustle double on a soft liner by Kevin Kiermaier. Hech knocked him in with a single, and it felt like the Rays were in business.

Unfortunately, the offense remained relatively stagnant tonight. Eovaldi was up to the task, for the most part.

You might remember Derek Dietrich as a former Rays prospect. It seems like every time he comes here, he always makes a big ol’ mess of things. Anyway he did the thing again and tied the game up with a blast off of Eovaldi.

You can’t be too mad at how Eovaldi pitched tonight, and he was helped by a slick little glove flip by Joey Wendle.

This was a fine little defensive play that you’d hope would really have an impact on the final score. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

At least Eovaldi is pushing that sweet, sweet trade value up. But the normally sure-footed Rays bullpen continued the troubling trend we saw in Minnesota last week. After pulling Eovaldi, Diego Castillo had some trouble with his command. He walked a couple guys, and ceded the mound to newly-acquired Hoby Milner. And Milner did...poorly.

Well look who it is, it’s Derek Dietrich, Destroyer of Worlds. These four runs definitely would be enough to give the Marlins the final lead for the game. But sloppy play by the Rays gave J.T. Realmuto turned a double into an inside-the-park home run for a 6-1 Marlins.

The Rays made a bit of noise in the final inning, but at that point the bullpen (re: Milner) had dug the team into too big of a hole. They loaded the bases on a walk, double, and pitcher’s error, and Mallex Smith wiped the slate with a three-run triple, and was brought in by a sac fly from C.J. Cron.

All of a sudden, the deficit had been cut to one run. And even more suddenly, Hech and Bauers reached base to put the tying run in scoring position. But alas, Daniel Robertson went up there hacking, destroying his plate discipline and any chance of a final tying run. 6-5 Marlins

Save the final few minutes, this game was a huge bummer, and the length of this recap appropriately represents the amount of time I wanted to spend even thinking about this train wreck. Tomorrow the Rays will do better. Just score the runs early on please.