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MIA 4, TB 5; Marlins drop first game of series vs. Rays

Key home runs from Aguilar and Dickerson not enough as the Marlins continue to struggle vs. the Rays.

MLB: Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The Marlins came into tonight looking for revenge against Florida rival Tampa Bay Rays, dropping the first game of the series, 5-4. Both teams brought in their top young pitchers in Pablo Lopez for the Fish and Josh Fleming for The Rays.

  • Pablo Lopez—4.0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6K (78 Pitches)
  • Josh Fleming—5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2K (73 Pitches)

Pablo had a quick first inning by only giving up one hit and striking out two (Choi and Meadows) continuing into the second inning when Yoshi Tsutsugo hit his 6th home run of the year, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. The Marlins came alive in the third inning when Corey Dickerson hit his 5th home. run of the year, which turned out to be a milestone as it was his 800th career hit. (Congrats, Corey!)

A Jesús Aguilar home run in the top of the fourth inning gave Miami a 2-1 lead.

But it all turned sideways for the Fish in the bottom half. A Joey Wendle single against López lead to an Austin Meadows Walk after a strikeout for Pablo, Yoshi Tsutsugo hit a single, making the bases loaded. It did not stop there as Pablo walked Kevin Kiermaier with the bases loaded and scored Joey Wendle. A Micheal Perez double bought all the runners home and a 5-2 lead for the Rays.

There is one thing you should never do and it’s count the Marlins out, which brings the game to the top of the 5th. After a ground out by Miguel Rojas and a pop-up from Corey Dickerson, the Marlins were laser-focused to close the gap. After a Jorge Alfaro walk, a Lewis Brinson single, and a Jon Berti double brings it to a 5-4 deficit and right into range for a fish rally.

Alex Vesia goes 23 innings, walking two and one hit, brought in Nick Vincent, who shut down the Rays and looked very impressive with 3 Ks (Vincent entered the night with only 4 total this entire season).

Hitting the ball looked impossible for the Marlins as three straight K’s by Tampa’s Ryan Thompson in the 6th drained Miami of any hope for a rally after such a strong 5th inning. The 7th and 8th innings mirrored each other, although a Matt Joyce pinch-hit double, the Marlins couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. The bullpen tonight for the Marlins,was the strongest it’s ever looked with a combined 4.0 IP, 1 H, 7 K, 4 BB, 0 ER, which should give hope for the rest of the season as the bullpen continues to impress.

If you are a Superman fan, it might be easy to say that the Rays are the Marlins’ Kryptonite so far this season—Miami has actually suffered nine straight defeats in the “Citrus Series” dating back to 2018. To their credit, the Marlins have not given up at any point this season from losing half of their roster and bringing up young players; the Marlins continued to fight just like in today’s game and will look past the loss and ahead to the rest of the weekend.

Sandy Alcantara seeks revenge against the Rays after last week’s matchup, making his second start since his return from the COVID-19 injured list. The Marlins look to reach .500 again against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm EST.

Marlins vs. Rays box score

Fish Picks Answer Key

  1. Rays
  2. Under
  3. Over
  4. Yes
  5. Rays