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TB 6, MIA 4; Pablo López strong, but Marlins blow lead in ninth

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After failing to score through five innings, both teams delivered fireworks late in what was ultimately a Rays victory.

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

Anthony Bass was two outs away from securing the first Marlins win of 2021 and his first save since joining the team via free agency. Instead, he’s largely responsible for extending their season-opening losing streak, blowing the save opportunity in Friday night’s 6-4 defeat.

The first half of the game was eerily similar to Opening Day. Yarbrough and López weren’t quite in the same dominant form that Tyler Glasnow and Sandy Alcantara had been, but the results were comparable: zeroes on the scoreboard entering the sixth inning. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt’s unorthodox strike zone may have had something to do with that.

Don Mattingly gave Pablo a relatively quick hook which was to be expected at this stage of the season when starters aren’t fully stretched out to endure their usual workloads. Veteran lefty Richard Bleier quickly triggered the second-guessers by serving up a go-ahead solo home run to Austin Meadows (Meadows’ second consecutive game going deep). The next inning, Manuel Margot added another run of insurance by homering against former teammate John Curtiss who was making his Marlins regular season debut.

But the Fish were resilient. Sparked by a Jazz Chisholm Jr. triple, they rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead. Jorge Alfaro, Corey Dickerson and Miguel Rojas each reached base safely after Chisholm to keep the inning alive. LoanDepot Park was loving it!

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Yimi García rebounded from the day before to record a hold in the eighth. Then, the Marlins extended their advantage to 4-2 by manufacturing a run.

Unfortunately, Bass wasn’t executing his pitches. The right-hander allowed four earned runs, most of them coming around to score on Joey Wendle’s upper-decker. For context, Bass had not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his 2019 or 2020 outings.

The Marlins have remarkably lost 12 of their last 13 games against the Rays despite so many of them seemingly coming down to the wire like this one did.

They will attempt to salvage the series finale on Saturday (6:10 p.m. ET first pitch) on the back of Elieser Hernandez. Tampa Bay once again has tabbed a lefty as their probable starting pitcher, the ageless Rich Hill, and Chris Archer is expected to “piggyback” him during the middle innings.


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