The Tampa Bay Rays got off to a running start against the Marlins in Tuesday afternoon’s game.
The Rays’ early risks on the basepaths turned into important runs, Jake Odorizzi fired five shutout innings, and Tampa Bay held on to defeat Miami 4-3, evening the Citrus Series at one game apiece.
“They’re an aggressive club,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of the Rays. “If you’re running into outs, it’s not good baserunning, but if you’re making good decisions, which I thought they did today, then it’s aggressive.”
Former Marlin Logan Morrison led off the Tampa Bay second inning with a single, stole second base, and tagged up to third on Corey Dickerson’s flyout to center field, allowing him to walk home with the game’s first run on Odorizzi’s bloop single to right.
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After Miami rallied for two runs in the sixth, Brad Miller drew a walk to lead off the seventh and attempted to steal second base. JT Realmuto’s throw bounced past Adeiny Hechavarria and into center field, so Miller advanced to third before scoring an insurance run on Steve Pearce’s hit to left.
Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton led off the bottom of the sixth with his 12th homer of the year, a liner that bounced off the Clevelander sign beyond the left-center-field fence. The longball was far from the longest or most majestic of Stanton’s career, but it was a welcome sight for Stanton and Mattingly, as the slugger tries to work his way out of a slump.
“It’s been three or four days now where he’s starting to see the ball better,” Mattingly said of Stanton. “He’s been around long enough to know that he’s not going to go away ... as long as he’s seeing the ball, it’s going to come back.”
The homer was Stanton’s first since May 15 and marked his third straight game with a hit after five long games without one. Stanton snapped his 0-for-19 skid with a single Sunday against Washington’s Max Scherzer.
Following Stanton’s homer, Marcell Ozuna doubled to right center and scored on a base hit by Derek Dietrich to bring Miami within one run, but Rays reliever Tyler Sturdevant entered for his major league debut and ended the rally.
Miami’s first two batters reached base in the eighth, but the Marlins managed only one run in the inning. For the game, Miami recorded two hits in six at-bats with runners in scoring position. The Marlins went 6-for-35 in such situations over their five game homestand, which concluded Tuesday afternoon.
While Miami rallied against the Tampa Bay bullpen, the Marlins managed only two singles against Odorizzi. The Rays’ starter struck out seven and walked three over his five scoreless frames.
“The velocity, if you see it on the [radar] gun, it’s not really that high,” Mattingly said of Odorizzi, “but a lot of guys had bad swings. He’s got a good changeup that makes you wait…he locates on both sides of the plate.”
Tom Koehler started and took the loss for the Marlins, allowing three earned runs over five innings. He struck out six, and matched a career-high with five walks.
“It’s unacceptable,” Koehler said of the five walks. “There’s certain times when walks are ok, but not that many. When you’re out there for those long half-innings, it’s tough to come in and get something going [offensively].”
The Marlins begin a five-game road trip Wednesday with the first of two games at Tampa Bay. Left-hander Justin Nicolino is scheduled to pitch for Miami, and right-hander Matt Andriese is slated to start for the Rays.