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TB 7, MIA 2; Marlins drop series opener versus Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays continue their dominance of the Citrus Series, even on a night when they had to do an unplanned bullpen game.

Nick Fortes #54 of the Miami Marlins is caught stealing second base by Taylor Walls #0 of the Tampa Bay Rays in the second inning at loanDepot park on August 30, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

Miami, FL—The Miami Marlins took another L Tuesday night as the Tampa Bay Rays bested the Fish, 7-2. The Rays were in total control of the game despite their ace, Shane McClanahan, being a last-minute scratch. Tampa Bay also clinched the 2022 Citrus Series as they are 3-0 against their southern rival this season.

Left-handed pitcher Jesús Luzardo got the start and loss for the Marlins. Luzardo pitched six innings allowing six hits, five runs (three earned), two walks, and four strikeouts. Even the unearned runs were his responsibility—they scored thanks to his throwing error. The Marlins have lost nine of Luzardo’s 12 starts this season.

Cole Sulser came in relief for the Marlins in the top of the seventh. Sulser was welcomed to the game by a no-doubt solo home run from José Siri, making it 6-0 Rays. Sulser allowed two more batters to get on base but was able to keep Tampa Bay from adding to their lead.

Heading to the top of the eighth, the Marlins handed the ball to left-handed relief pitcher Jake Fishman. The rookie southpaw got into early trouble allowing a leadoff double to Francisco Mejía and an opposite-field single to Yu Chang. Fishman rebounded with an infield pop out, strikeout, and line out off the bat of Manuel Margot to keep the runners stranded.

In the top of the ninth, another rookie southpaw, Andrew Nardi, came into the ballgame for the Marlins. Just like Sulser, Nardi immediately allowed a no-doubt home run, this one courtesy of Randy Arozarena. Nardi would allow two more hits in the inning before striking out the side and leaving the two runners on base.

By lowly Marlins standards, the offense had a decent game as they scored two runs on nine hits. However, the Fish only had two extra-base hits on the night and left five men on base, and were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Marlins rookie outfielder Jerar Encarnación had a good night at the plate as he went 2-for-3 and drove in both of Miami’s runs with a double down the left field line. Catcher Nick Fortes also recorded multiple hits on the night, going 2-for-4 in the loss.

In Joey Wendle’s first game against his former team, the 2021 All-Star went 1-for-4 with a ground-rule double to left-center.

Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference

What’s next?

The Miami Marlins will be back on the diamond Wednesday night for the Citrus Series finale. Their starter for the game has not been officially named yet, but left-handed pitcher Trevor Rogers is a potential option. He threw a bullpen on Sunday and is still with the club, seemingly finished with his minor league rehab assignment. If Rogers is activated from the IL, a corresponding move will need to be made.

Right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen will get the start for the Tampa Bay Rays. Rasmussen has been lights out for the Rays this season. The 27-year-old right-hander has posted a 9-4 record with a 2.77 ERA, 99 strikeouts, and 1.07 WHP.

First pitch is at 6:40 pm EST on Bally Sports Florida.