While Jake Odorizzi shut down the Marlins effectively for five innings, Tom Koehler scuffled and though the Marlins nibbled away at the lead against the Rays pen, Tampa Bay was ultimately able to come away with a 4-3 victory to even this four game stretch at 1-1.
Tom Koehler ran into his first bit of trouble in the second. Former member of the Fish Family Logan Morrison lined a single into right center to start the inning off, then stole second when J.T. Realmuto bounced a pitch to Adeiny Hechavarria covering second base. Corey Dickerson lifted a ball to centerfield and the aggressive Morrison tested Marcell Ozuna's arm successfully by reaching third. Koehler got Hank Conger to whiff, but then lobbed a first pitch fastball over the plate to Jake Odorizzi, who lined it cleanly into right field for a single, the first of his career, easily plating Morrison and giving the Rays the 1-0 advantage.
In the third we witnessed the somewhat rare successful pick off at second when Koehler whirled around and fired to Derek Dietrich, who swiped Brad Miller's hand just before he reached the bag. Kevin Cash opted to challenge but the call was confirmed, and Koehler's earlier walk of Miller did not come back to haunt him.
In the fourth, with a couple Rays on board, Hank Conger delivered a bases clearing single, and the Rays were suddenly up 3-0. Koehler would add a couple more walks to bring his total to four for the day before inducing a groundout to end the inning.
The Marlins threatened in their half of the fourth thanks to Stanton reaching base thanks to a collision by two Rays named Steve, and consecutive walks to Marcell Ozuna and Realmuto, respectively. With two outs on the board already, however, Adeiny Hechavarria's deep flyball to rightfield snuffed out the Marlins' hopes of scoring.
Koehler's day would end following the fifth inning when he was lifted for pinch-hitter Cole Gillespie. Koehler's final line was very similiar to his last outing: five innings pitched, three runs on six hits, five walks and six strikeouts.
The Fish couldn't really get anything going against Jake Odorizzi, but he also ran his pitch count up fairly high and had to leave after five innings pitched, giving up no runs on just two hits and three walks, striking out seven.
Enter Enny Romero, who up to this series had been pretty stellar, but the Marlins gave him trouble yesterday and today was no different. First up in the sixth was Giancarlo Stanton, who gave everyone (except for Rays fans) a welcome sight, blasting a solo shot beyond the left field wall to put the Marlins on the board, 3-1 Rays. Ozuna would follow with a looping double that gapped the right and center fielders. Realmuto would fly out but then Derek Dietrich stroked a single between third and short, plating Ozuna and bringing the Marlins to within one, 3-2 Rays. That was all she wrote for Romero, who was replaced by minor league journeyman Taylor Sturdevant. Sturdevant was impressive in his major league debut, going two third's of an inning while fanning Hechvarria.
The Rays picked up another one in the top of the seventh. Bryan Morris walked Miller, who then stole second and advanced to third on the second questionable throw by Realmuto of the day. Steve Pearce singled Miller in and was thrown out by Ichiro trying to advance to second, but the damage had been done, 4-2 Rays.
The Marlins came back to within one in the eighth. Ozuna doubled, again, staying hot. Dietrich singled, putting it at first and third. Realmuto grounded in a double play, but then Hechavarria lined one just out of reach of Miller at short to drive in Ozuna, 4-3 Rays.
In the ninth, Stanton gunned down Brandon Guyer at third base after replay confirmed that Guyer popped off the bag in his slide, helping Edwin Jackson get out of the inning without issue.
In the Marlins half of the ninth, after Ichiro tapped a weak grounder back to Alex Colome, home plate umpire Jim Wolf decided he was ready to go home, calling back to back third strikes on Prado and Bour that were both way outside the zone.
The Citrus Series continues tomorrow at 7:10 ET in St. Petersburg, Justin Nicolino vs. Matt Andriese.
Hero of the game: Alex Colome (.386)
Flounder of the game:
Jim Wolf J.T. Realmuto (-.282)
Play of the game: Derek Dietrich singles to left in the sixth; Ozuna scores (.113)