The first leg of the “Citrus Series” is over with the Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays meeting in St. Petersburg last month. The longest game ever played between the rivals at Tropicana Field came on this day 10 years ago.
After 15 innings, the contest went the way of the Marlins. Scott Cousins’ RBI triple in the top of the 15th was the difference as Miami outlasted Tampa Bay for a 4-3 victory.
The Marlins had not scored since the second inning when they stepped to the plate to face Brandon Gomes in the 15th on June 16, 2012. Gomes had worked a perfect 14th and started the 15th by getting Greg Dobbs to ground out. The next two hitters, however, collected knocks for extra bases.
After Justin Ruggiano doubled to right, Scott Cousins drove him home with an RBI triple – his third hit of the night. Gomes would avoid further damage, but the Marlins had the run they needed.
Heath Bell struck out the side in the bottom of the inning to pick up the save and seal the win for the Marlins. Ryan Webb threw three scoreless innings to earn the victory. Gomes took the loss.
Early on, the Marlins took advantage of a pair of Tampa Bay errors. A throwing error on an infield single by Giancarlo Stanton allowed Jose Reyes to score the game’s first run in the first. Reyes came through with a two-run single in the second after an error on outfielder Matt Joyce allowed Gaby Sanchez to reach.
The Rays got on the board in the third on an RBI infield single from Jose Molina. A solo home run from Molina in the fifth and an RBI triple from Sean Rodriguez in the seventh drew Tampa Bay even. Over the final eight innings, the Miami bullpen allowed just four hits and no runs.
The 15-inning victory, at the time, served as the longest game between the two rivals from Florida. The Rays would win a 16-inning affair against the Marlins at what’s now LoanDepot Park in 2018. But this 4-3 victory at “The Trop” remains the longest game played between the teams in St. Pete. It came on this day one decade ago.