So, how about these new guys?
Specifically, how about Eric Sogard, who played his very first home game at Tropicana Field today, and managed to hit two home runs and collect the first five RBIs of the game? Not bad for a trade that barely got mentioned in most trade deadline rundowns.
Other newbie moments worth mentioning were a walk to Jesus Aguilar (who pinch hit for Sogard in the seventh, and Nick Anderson who pitched a scoreless eighth inning and collected two strikeouts against his former team.
Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?
Diego Castillo kicked things off with a very rare appearance as an opener, before giving way to Jalen Beeks. Beeks worked four innings and gave up four runs on five hits (only three earned), striking out only two in the process. It wasn’t a particularly egregious outing, but also not his best work.
A Puello hit-by-pitch in the second scored the game’s first run, and put the Marlins on the board first. In the third a Cooper sacrifice hit scored Bertie, giving tying things up.
I might not be so kind about Beeks’ outing, were it not for Eric Sogard keeping the Rays alive with his two home runs (his first two-home run game). Another thing that went the Rays way early was a review play of Brian Anderson, called safe at third base, but later ruled out. This review kept a home run by Castro in the third inning to two runs rather than three, which helped considerably when Sogard was able to tie it up in the bottom of the same inning.
Things were fairly quiet until the seventh inning. Chaz Roe had come on in relief of Beeks in the sixth, but in the seventh things got messy when Berti singled to score Puello, and then Anderson got his revenge for the review by hitting a sac fly to score Rojas. The Marlins now had the lead.
Sogard wouldn’t be their savior, either, as Aguilar came on to pinch hit, and pulled a walk.
Austin Meadows was the man to get the tie, with a solo home run in the seventh inning. It wasn’t without some drama however as the umpire crew had a second look at the play to ensure there was no fan interference (there wasn’t). And Willy Adames wasn’t going to leave things tied long, hitting his own solo shot in the bottom of the eighth. d’Arnaud took advantage of some quality base running from Choi and hit a nicely placed RBI single into left to score Choi. Then, alas, Meadows was mowed down at home with a well-timed throw and a strong eighth for the Rays came to a close.
Emilio Pagan came on to shut things down for the Rays. He very quickly collected a strikeout, before falling into a bit of a duel with Rojas which ended with the inning’s second out (a tag out by Pagan himself). Berti — whose name sounds like Birdie whenever I hear it said out loud — was the Marlins last home, and managed to line a hit to the right field corner that he managed to turn into a triple. Let me tell you, the expression on Avisail Garcia’s face for missing the catch was one of a man deeply, deeply frustrated with himself.
It was Anderson who would be the final batter for the Marlins, who fought to stay alive, but ultimately hit a fly out to end the game.