The Marlins entered the inconveniently located Tropicana Field on Tuesday night expecting the usual. Kevin Slowey was to face Jeremy Hellickson and Juan Pierre was to DH for the Fish, because apparently Juan Pierre is someone you would designate as a hitter. He was batting leadoff for Miami, and in his first at bat he fouled out to left field, but alas! He would not prevent the Marlins from scoring first.
Which they did. Marcell Ozuna started off the 2nd inning with a double and after a Chris Coghlan strikeout, Justin Ruggiano provided the first strike against Jeremy Hellickson in the form of a groundball RBI single. Then in the 3rd inning a Derek Dietrich triple brought home a run and after a Marcell Ozuna walk, Chris Coghlan brought both of the runners home with a triple of his own. The Marlins led 4-0 headed to the bottom of the third. The Marlins were putting up a fight.
In that bottom of the third, Kevin slowey would give up two runs to the Tampa Bay bats after three consecutive singles to start the frame and load the bases, a Sac Fly and a double would do the damage. The Marlin lead had been halved, and in the 4th two doubles by Desmond Jennings and (Former Marlin?) Yunel Escobar made that lead just 4-3.
But all was not lost, in the top of the sixth Chris Coghlan got his second hit of the night and his first homer of the season. It was the third time in four games that Coghlan had multiple hits, but just the sixth time on the year he had achieved such a feat. However, this extended lead did not last long and before the bottom of the sixth the Marlins led 5-3 but by the end of it things would be tied at 5-all. If you're looking for explanation, a double by Jose Lobaton with two men on was what scored the runs. If you are not looking for explanation, then the last two sentences were a waste.
After the sixth it was a new game. Both starters were pulled after 5.1 innings and in the 8th the Marlins were to face Joel Peralta and after a single, a "productive" groundout to third, a wild pitch and a single by Gregg Dobbs, the Marlins had taken the lead.
Unfortunately, the lead would not hold after Mike Dunn allowed three singles in the bottom half of the inning that scored one run. Again, tying the game. But Dunn was not out of danger, he still had two men on and needed one more out. An intentional walk to Ben Zobrist set up a bases loaded situation of Ryan Roberts, and he successfully grounded out. Now Dunn was out of danger.
On to the bottom of the ninth, Dunn was still on the mound and the game was still tied at 6-6. Dunn started the inning with two singles, then two outs, then was pulled from the game. Dunn ended his night with five outs recorded and five hits allowed, while I have confidence he can find a better deal than a one-for-one, that is nonetheless the price he agreed to pay. With Dunn out, Mike Redmond called upon Chad Qualls to face Desmond Jennings with two men on...and he gave up the walk-off single.
The final score was 7-6, the Marlins were one out away from sending the game to extras. Desmond Jennings finished the night with an absurd .562 WPA. Importantly, the Marlins had put up a fight. This was the type of back and forth game that could have gone either way, but tonight things went just normally. The Marlins got the "L" and no one was horribly surprised.