Kelly Johnson and the Rays defeated the Miami Marlins 10-6 in the first game of the Citrus Series at Tropicana Field on Memorial Day.
The Rays quickly got off to an early lead as Miami pitcher Jose Fernandez loaded the bases in the second inning by walking two batters and hitting Desmond Jennings with a pitch. After the Rays scored three runs, Kelly Johnson hit a three-run homer to increase the Rays’ lead to 6-0.
Unfortunately for Rays pitcher Jake Odorizzi, it did not take long for Miami to strike back in the fourth inning as former Rays outfielder Justin Ruggiano hit a solo shot to left field. Odorizzi gave up two more runs in the inning, making the score 6-3. During the bottom of the inning, after Fernandez gave up two singles, reliever Duane Below replaced Fernandez. Ben Zobrist went on to score off of Evan Longoria’s sacrifice fly.
Odorizzi continued to struggle in the fifth inning, giving up two singles and a walk before being replaced by Josh Leuke. The reliever gave up three runs in the inning. With the Rays ahead by only one run, Johnson solidified the Rays’ lead in the eighth inning by hitting his second three-run homer of the night.
In his second appearance with the Rays, Odorizzi gave up eight hits and threw only two strikeouts. Combined with six errors for the afternoon, Odorizzi’s rough outing inflated his ERA to 9.00. Closer Fernando Rodney, who has received much criticism recently for blowing several saves, delivered a solid performance in the ninth inning with one walk and two strikeouts to preserve the Rays’ lead. Overall, the Rays pitching staff threw nine strikeouts and gave up 11 hits. Miami’s pitchers also had nine strikeouts on Monday afternoon
Kelly Johnson turned heads last week with several strong defensive plays, and he went 4-for-5 with 6 RBIs on Monday afternoon. The only two other Rays players to have two homeruns and six or more RBIs in a single game are Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria.