Carlos Gomez might have made the loudest bang Wednesday at Marlins Park when he took out his frustration on a water cooler inside the Rays dugout, smashing it repeatedly with his bat after striking out. But it was the sleep-deprived Marlins who generated the noise that resonated loudest in the end by emerging with a 3-0 victory over Tampa.
Only hours after losing a 16-inning affair to the Rays that didn't end until 12:41 a.m., the Marlins returned to the scene of that late-night marathon to take the series in the only game of the three that didn't require extra innings.
"I'm not going to lie," said Marlins shortstop JT Riddle, who drove in two of the Marlins' three runs and scored the other with a picturesque slide. "You play 16 innings like that and come in eight hours later and play again, your body doesn't feel the greatest. It's a little bit of a hangover. But it's part of the job."
Jose Urena made a nice impression in his first game back from the disabled list, delivering five scoreless innings before a Marlins bullpen depleted from recent usage took over and carried the shutout to the end. Drew Rucinski, who earned the win in Monday's 10-inning victory over the Rays, notched another in Wednesday's series finale while Brad Ziegler closed it out for his 10th save.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Most of the Marlins' relievers, including closer Kyle Barraclough, were unavailable Wednesday after working on consecutive days.
"It was one of those days, walking into it, that your bullpen’s pretty much shot," said Marlins manager Don Mattingly. "You’re hoping for a good outing from Jose and it really couldn’t have gone any better as far as who we had available. Basically, you saw everybody we had available today."
Neither lineup showed much life Wednesday, not surprising given Tuesday's late ending.
"I think when you watched the at bats, you kind of saw it today," Mattingly said. "You know it’s a quick turnaround, and it’s not a normal turnaround when you play that many innings. Both teams know they’re kind of beat up on both sides."
Until Riddle tripled in a run in the 6th, the loudest commotion belonged to Gomez, who felt he was hit by an Urena pitch in the second inning. But home plate umpire Chris Segal saw it differently, ruling the pitch struck Gomez's bat for a strike. When Gomez then struck out, he took out his anger inside the Rays dugout, pounding one water cooler with his fist and slamming another with his bat, sending water spraying onto the field and in the dugout.
"He squared it up pretty good it sounded like," Riddle said. "You look over and you see water flying up and you think it’s probably a water cooler he’s taking down. Some people handle their frustrations in different ways."
Said Gomez: "We are human. We can get mad. It doesn't mean we're not professional. It's that moment. If they fine me for this, I've got enough money to pay."
It remained 0-0 until the sixth when Riddle followed Starlin Castro's single with a triple off the wall in center. The Marlins made it 2-0 when Riddle took off from third on JB Shuck's ground ball to second, eluding the tag of Rays catcher and Jesus Sucre and touching the plate with his hand.
"Really a great slide at home," Mattingly said.
Said Riddle: "Once the ball was on the ground, I knew it was going to be a bang-bang play. I was just thinking get around the tag. He was in front of the plate and kind of reached out for the ball. I kind of maneuvered around and stuck my hand in there."
Riddle hit his fifth homer in the eighth to make it 3-0.
With Barraclough unavailable, Ziegler worked the ninth for the save.
"Everybody was a little banged up after the last few games," Ziegler said. "I think both teams had a little sluggishness for the first few innings and probably a lot of heavy legs after last night. But they battled hard, we battled hard, and fortunately we had JT Riddle on our team today."