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TB 1, MIA 0: Aces as good as advertised

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Sandy Alcantara matched zeroes with Tyler Glasnow, but the Rays prevailed on Opening Day thanks to an Austin Meadows solo home run.

Tampa Bay Rays v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Marlins dropped to 0-1 in the LoanDepot Park/Bally Sports Florida era, finishing on the wrong end of an Opening Day pitchers’ duel. Sandy Alcantara and Tyler Glasnow were both excellent, but Austin Meadows delivered the only clutch hit for either side, a game-deciding solo home run.

Tyler Glasnow: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K (76 pitches)

Sandy Alcantara: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K (83 pitches)

Alcantara’s performance was comparable to 2020’s opener. He racked up 16 swinging strikes and averaged 97 miles per hour on his fastball. After struggling with his control in the top of the first inning, the former All-Star steadied himself as the game went on and could’ve easily remained in for the seventh if this were a midseason game.

In the fourth inning, Alcantara was helped by Jorge Alfaro. The heavily scrutinized backstop blocked a slider in the dirt. Had it gotten past Alfaro, the Rays would’ve had a runner on third with nobody out and almost certainly scored on Yandy Díaz’s subsequent deep line drive.

Instead, the 0-0 deadlock held into the top of the eighth. Yimi García yielded a long fly ball out to pinch-hitter Manuel Margot and another to Yoshi Tsutsugo. Unfortunately, “The Depot” could not contain Meadows’ 419-foot blast.

Jesús Aguilar came tantalizingly close to answering Meadows in the bottom of the ninth. Alas, the ball died on the left field warning track.

The expression on Aguilar’s face said it all:

Dylan Floro, Ross Detwiler and Adam Cimber each made their Marlins regular season debuts out of the bullpen, combining for two scoreless frames. Floro’s outing was the most encouraging of the three as he showed great fastball command.

Thursday’s contest was the 11th time in the last 12 matchups that the Marlins have lost to Tampa Bay. Yikes!

They will attempt to turn the page on Friday night with Ryan Yarbrough and Pablo López expected to start on the mound. It will be a 7:10 p.m. ET first pitch.


Baseball Savant

Fish Picks Answer Key

  1. Push (both starters pitched exactly 6.0 IP)
  2. Under
  3. Under
  4. No
  5. Rays