Wednesday would see the Marlins hoping to re-write the script on what, as of late, has been a bitter taste of the Citrus Series for the Fish against the Rays. 3 hours and 5 minutes later, a similar tale was told; another one-run loss, Miami’s 14th of the season, 5-4. Miami is now 2-17 against Tampa Bay since the start of the 2019 season.
Miami would make it interesting, though, as the team had plated a run in the 9th and their leading run-producer, Jesús Aguilar, up with the bases loaded. Rays reliever Colin Poche would win-out in the end, striking out Aguilar on a rising 95-mph fastball.
Looking to salvage the series split after being shut out Tuesday, manager Don Mattingly turned to Cody Poteet, pitching on 3 days' rest after hurling two frames against Atlanta on May 21 in what was his second start of the season.
The Tampa Bay bats would supply all of the thunder they needed early, putting up a five-spot in the bottom of the 1st off Poteet, who had allowed 2 runs in 23 innings prior to Wednesday’s start. Former Marlin Harold Ramírez came through with his second home run in as many days against his former club in what would ultimately be the deciding blow.
All in all, Poteet would last three innings, pitching scoreless ball in the 2nd and 3rd.
Beneath the pain of what makes for another crushing one-run loss, is the work of the Miami bullpen. Following Poteet, the relief core pieced together 5 scoreless innings, striking out 8 whilst allowing just 3 base runners. Of the four arms in relief of Poteet, Elieser Hernández, whom all 8 of his appearances this season have come as a starter, pitched a perfect 5th inning, striking out 2 with a fastball that routinely registered 93 mph. After the game, manager Don Mattingly confirmed Hernández to still be in line to start Sunday’s finale in Atlanta.
“The bullpen did a really nice job of keeping us in the game...They battled back and gave us some chances,” said Mattingly.
Miami would work to claw their way back, though, as the team put up 3 in the 4th inning, including Jorge Soler’s team-leading 9th home run of the season and a two-run double off the bat of Jacob Stallings.
In the 8th, Miami appeared to have cut the deficit to one following a fly ball hit by Soler initially thought to be a home run. Upon further review, the call would be overturned with Soler eventually going down on strikes.
With an off-day scheduled for Thursday, Miami will travel to Atlanta where they’ll begin a weekend series against the division rival Atlanta Braves Friday in Truist Park. Trevor Rogers (2-5, 5.20 ERA) is set to make his second start in as many weeks in the series opener. First pitch is slated for 7:20 Eastern.
- After seeing his career-best 25-game on-base streak snapped Tuesday, third baseman Brian Anderson went 2-2 with 2 walks. Over his last 30 games played, Anderson owns a .381 OBP.
- With reliever Anthony Bender being sent to the IL with back stiffness, the team recalled utility catcher Willians Astudillo from AAA. Entering mid-game and playing 2nd base, Astudillo went 0-2 with a flyout in the top of the 9th.
- With a scoreless bottom of the 8th, Dylan Floro authored his fifth consecutive appearance without allowing a run, lowering his ERA from 22.50-to-7.11 in the process.