The Rays sent rookie Josh Fleming to the mound for game two of the Citrus series. The Rays looked to keep the winning going against Pablo Lopez and the Miami Marlins.
Between Fleming and Lopez, there weren’t many offensive opportunities early on in the night.
Fleming yielded a single to Jonathan Villar in the first inning but he would be erased on a caught stealing. Through the next three innings Fleming only let up one single while striking out four batters without walking any.
On the opposite side, Pablo Lopez similarly held the Rays’ bats quiet. Ji-Man Choi picked up a single on a hard hit ball to right field in the second inning but Lopez would retire the next nine Rays along with eight ground balls.
The bats came to life in the sixth inning, however. Michael Perez punched a single to left field and Meadows followed it up with a double to right field. While Brandon Lowe couldn’t drive in the run, Yandy Diaz was able to bring the run in on a softly hit infield single.
Your team-leader in infield hits, Yandy Díaz pic.twitter.com/CUSz7oNtaI— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 29, 2020
In the bottom half of the sixth inning Fleming gave up a one-out double to Miguel Rojas, which ended his outing. It was an impressive outing for the rookie left-hander. Ryan Thompson was able to strand Rojas at second base and end the inning. Fleming’s line wound up being 5 ⅓ IP 3 H 6 Ks 0 BBs and 0 ERs. With the Rays slew of pitching injuries this season, getting quality innings out of Fleming will be all the more important. Fleming looks equipped to answer the call.
The Rays added on to their lead in the seventh inning. Joey Wendle doubled off of Pablo Lopez with one out and Kevin Kiermaier came through with a two-out RBI single to bring Wendle home. The Rays lead 2-0 at that point. Edgar Garcia got through the bottom of the seventh inning without allowing a run.
The Rays came through again in the eighth inning. After loading up the bases with two outs, Joey Wendle came through with a two-run ground-rule double to extend the lead to 4-0 off of James Hoyt. Aaron Loup got through the eighth inning without allowing a base runner.
Jesus Tinoco retired the Rays in order in the top of the ninth, and John Curtiss retired the Marlins in order in the bottom of the ninth with a couple strikeouts to end the game.
Behind Joey Wendle’s two doubles, Josh Fleming’s strong outing and a great night from the bullpen, the Rays shutout the Marlins for a 4-0 win. The Rays sit 23-11 with a four game lead over the Yankees in the AL East. The Rays will look to sweep Miami tomorrow at 1:10 p.m. behind Blake Snell. Sandy Alcantara will start for the Marlins.