Less than 24 hours following the Rays clinched their second consecutive AL East title, the sabermetric darlings were back at it again, this time piecing together a 3-1 win to finish off the sweep against the Marlins.
Making just his second Major League start, Shane Baz shut down Miami to the tune of 9 strikeouts over 5.2 scoreless innings, topping out at 98.8 mph Sunday.
Shane Baz was all kinds of filthy in his second MLB start:— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 26, 2021
9 K pic.twitter.com/kqnwYU1l7l
On the other side of the rubber, Jesús Luzardo labored in the first inning that saw him throw 30 pitches, allowing 2 runs on sacrifice flies from Nelson Cruz - who would later add an RBI single in the 5th - and Yandy Díaz to give Tampa an early lead. Luzardo would rebound slightly, tossing 3 scoreless innings following the rough first, finishing with 5 strikeouts over 4 innings pitched. Like Baz, Luzardo generated 14 swings and misses.
The Fish would make the game interesting in the top of the 9th when first baseman Lewin Díaz took former Marlin Nick Anderson deep to right-center for his 7th home run of the season to make it a 3-2 game.
A Nick Fortes F7 and a Joe Panik pop-out would slam the door on Miami’s 5th consecutive loss and 91st overall.
Monday will be Miami’s final off day as they travel to New York to prepare for the final 7 games of the 2021 season. The team will be back in action Tuesday where they’ll play a doubleheader against the Mets.