Tampa Bay wrapped up a Citrus Series sweep, downing the Marlins 7-2 and recording their sixth straight win in the process. The Rays put runners on in every inning save the sixth as they controlled a game that was even more lopsided than the final score would indicate.
In fact, the Marlins peaked during the pre-game activities, when Mike Riddle got the best of Raymond.
Tampa Bay sent an all right handed lineup out against lefty Caleb Smith, who has been one of the few bright spots for the Marlins this year.
The Rays drew first blood in the first inning thanks to one of the worst defensive innings you’ll ever see. Duffy’s lead off four pitch walk was followed by a muffed double play grounder by shortstop Rojas off the bat Pham to put runners on the corners. Then, after the Marlin’s catcher Holaday was unable to gather a foul pop, Jesus Aguilar lofted a deep sac fly to left, scoring Duffy.
The rally continued when Pham stole second on a play that should have been a caught stealing but was dropped by the second baseman Castro. Then, after a d’Arnaud strike out, Garcia reached on a infield single that certainly could have been made by the third baseman Berti. Brosseau followed with a sharp ground ball single to left, scoring Pham. 2-0 Rays.
The Rays kept the heat on, putting two on in the second with singles from Zunino (?!?!) and Pham before the rally stalled out. But they didn’t stay stalled for long. In the third, Mike Brosseau tattooed an 0-2 pitch out to left for his fifth dinger of the season, and his first against a non-Baltimore pitcher.
On the other side, Yonny Chirinos took the hill for the Rays, hoping to rebound from a rocky start his last time out against Toronto. He looked sharp early, sporting some ridiculous arm-side run on his sinker.
Yonny Chirinos, Disgusting 95mph Two Seamer Movement. pic.twitter.com/gdkCHHPhJk— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 4, 2019
Yonny cruised through a hitless front three. But two outs in the fourth, Brian Anderson hit one out to right. 3-1 Rays.
Curtis Granderson then gave one a ride to deep center. Guillermo Heredia was there to bail out his pitcher, hauling it in on a sick corner route.
In the bottom of the inning, Brian Anderson returned the favor.
Yonny pitched around a Harold Ramirez double in the fifth, finishing the inning with a strikeout of Holady. That would be the end of the day for Chirinos, as he left with right middle finger inflammation. His line: 5 innings, 1 run, 2 hits, a walk, and 4 strikeouts.
Diego Castillo came on for the sixth, and promptly gave up a triple to Miguel Rojas. He kept the runner in place with a strikeout of Berti and a hard grounder to first from Cooper. A walk to Brian Anderson ended Castillo’s day as Cash made the call for Poche to face Granderson.
Poche got out of the jam when the Rays played a double steal attempt perfectly, with Willy Adames closing the distance on the throw down to second, then delivering a strike to Zunino.
Let’s look at that again.
Poche did Poche things in the seventh, working a clean frame including a couple of strikeouts.
The Rays broke the game open in the bottom of the seventh thanks to more bad defense from Miami. A walk by Pham and a single through the right side by Aguilar put Rays at the corners with no outs. With the infield in and shifted, d’Arnaud chopped one through the right side, scoring Pham and again putting runners at the corners. 4-1 Rays.
More LOLfense ensured after that. Even though he faced the same alignment, Garcia decided to hit it over the shift. The jump at the wall by the centerfielder Berti was mistimed, resulting in the ball loose in the outfield. Berti then retrieved it, and the relay throw home was in plenty of time to get d’Arnaud. However, the Miami catcher neglected to catch the ball.
In the bottom of the eighth, Aguilar put the cherry on top of this one by working a long at bat, then going yard.
Andrew Kittredge came on in the eighth and allowed an unearned run thanks to two singles and a fielding error by Garcia. He also worked the ninth to close out the win.
The Rays start a three game set with the Blue Jays tomorrow at 7:10 PM.