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The Rays win a marathon 5 1⁄2 hour, 16 inning affair

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The Rays won 9-6 in the second straight extra inning game between the Florida foes

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The sun was setting, the roof was open, and it was time for Florida baseball at Marlins Park as the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins faced off in the middle game of their three game set.

Trevor Richards was coming off a mediocre outing against the Diamondbacks, and things weren’t looking to get better early on tonight. In the first inning, the Rays jumped to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run homer from Wilson Ramos, who incidentally leads the majors in All-Star votes for a catcher.

The Rays continued to hit Richards hard, slamming one extra-base hit after another in the second inning to extend their lead to 4-0.

It was looking like a long night for Miami, and even when they rallied to load the bases in the bottom of the inning with two outs, an intentional walk left the rally up to Richards to drive in the Fish on the pond. The Marlins pitcher, who entered the at bat at 1 for 14 lifetime, came through with a line drive to left center to drive in two, and win back some of the good graces he lost on the mound early on.

Coming into today, Brian Anderson was hitting .416 with RISP, and he delivered again tonight in the fifth on a single to right to score J.B. Shuck from second base to draw the Marlins within one.

J.T. Realmuto then came through with a sacrifice fly to score Starlin Castro from third to tie the game 4-4 after five.

The Marlins then turned to their red hot bullpen, and they matched the Rays pen with shutout innings, leading the Rays and Marlins into extras for the second straight night.

The Rays threatened in the top of the thirteenth when they had first and third with one out against Brett Graves. Carlos Gomez tried a push bunt towards first base, but lined it directly at J.T. Realmuto (who had moved to first), who caught the ball and leisurely tossed the ball to third to complete the double play and end the threat.

In the bottom of the fifteenth, Realmuto would lead off with a ground ball double past third base to start what was hopefully going to be a game ending rally. Brett Graves was up next and popped up a bunt attempt about fifty feet in the air for an easy first out. A strikeout and fly out would end the opportunity for the Fish.

This would be costly indeed as in the top of the sixteenth, with two men on, Jake Bauers doubled to right field off of Graves to give the Rays a 6-4 lead. The two-out rally continued and after the dust settled, five runs had scored and Tampa would take a commanding 9-4 lead.

In the bottom of the sixteenth, the Fish tacked on two runs, and pinch hitter Dan Straily walked to bring up the tying run (!), but Cameron Maybin grounded out to end the 5 hour 31 minute marathon.

Phew!

fangraphs.com

King Fish:

The Rays bullpen, which tossed 10 shutout innings.

Flounder:

Good effort for three innings for Brett Graves, but a terrible bunt attempt and giving up five runs in the sixteenth inning gives him the dubious honor.

Turning Point:

The tie-breaking hit from Jake Baeurs in the sixteenth.

Attendance:

6,259

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Today's Lineups

TAMPA BAY RAYS MIAMI MARLINS
Kevin Kiermaier - CF Starlin Castro - 2B
Matt Duffy - 3B Brian Anderson - RF
Jake Bauers - 1B J.T. Realmuto - C
Wilson Ramos - C Justin Bour - 1B
Joey Wendle - LF Cameron Maybin - LF
Daniel Robertson - 2B Miguel Rojas - 3B
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS JT Riddle - SS
Mallex Smith - RF Lewis Brinson - CF
Ryan Yarbrough - LHP Trevor Richards - RHP

7/21/18 Probable Starters

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Pablo Lopez Marlins 17.0 6.35 4.86 7.41 0.0
Ryne Stanek Rays 34.2 2.08 2.67 11.42
FanGraphs

Matchup Summary

The Marlins have won three of the past four games, and look to win the Citrus Series tonight in game two of the three game set against the Rays. The Rays have won eight of their last ten games and are coming off series wins against the Yankees, Nationals and Astros; therefore a series win against the Rays would be more of a coup than it would sound.

In a battle of rookies, the inconsistent Trevor Richards takes the hill tonight for the Marlins against Rays rookie lefty Ryan Yarbrough. For those who love watching youngsters play, tonight should be a terrific (and interesting) game to watch.

Game Thread Question

Which team has more fans: the Rays or the Marlins?