On this date last season, the Tampa Bay Rays defeated their intra-state foes the Florida Marlins.
The Tampa Bay Rays opened a series in Miami with the Marlins on this date last year.
Caleb Smith was coming off of a career-high 11 strikeouts in his previous start. He started the game off with a 1-2-3 first inning striking out Yandy Diaz and Daniel Robertson.
Charlie Morton came into the game with a 3-0 record in his eight starts with a 2.64 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. Like his counterpart, Morton opened up his frame by striking out Jon Berti.
Rays’ cleanup hitter opened the second frame with a manly blast to dead center. It landed over the batter’s eye and was Garcia’s seventh homer of the season. After carefully rolling the tape measure out and checking it twice, officials determined the homer was 471 feet from home plate. It was the fifth-longest homer in the history of Marlins Park.
The solo homer was the only run the Rays would get in the inning as Smith with K two more to put him at four in the first two innings. Smith continued his streak of two Ks per inning on into third.
Morton returned fire by stranding two men on whiffing Neil Walker on a nasty curveball that rode down and in on the left-handed batter.
The Marlins got a strike’em out, throw ’em out double play when Robertson swung and missed and hung Tommy Pham out to dry. Marlin’s catcher casually launched a bullet from his knees to tie Pham up in the rundown.
In the top of the sixth, it appeared Pham was going to participate in another double play as he hit a soft grounder to shortstop Miguel Castro who fired to second for the first out but Starlin Castro dropped the ball on the turn.
Would they pay for that? Yes, they would.
Robertson stepped in and drew a walk from Caleb Smith. That would be the end of the line for the lefty as the Marlins brought in none other than 28-year-old rookie Nick Anderson, whom the Rays would trade for later in the season.
Anderson would promptly give up lined single to Avisail Garcia, scoring Tommy Pham from second.
Morton would continue to role in the sixth inning, earning his fifth strikeout of the game.
In the top of the eighth, Sergio Romo walked Austin Meadows to load the bases, then walked Kevin Kiermaier to walk in the third run of the game for the Rays.
With the bases loaded in the ninth inning, none other than Avisail Garcia stepped in and after showing off his power in the second inning he showed off his speed and hustle here. Garcia flew down the line to beat out a groundball to third to drive in the fourth and final run of the game for the good guys.
Chaz Roe came in and shut the door for the Rays, finishing off a 4-0 victory over the Marlins.
Charlie Morton got the win for the Rays pitching 6.0 innings, allowing three hits, earning five strikeouts and no walks. He lowered his ERA to 2.32 on the season.
Meanwhile, Caleb Smith was tagged with the loss and lowered his record to 3-1 lasting 5.1 innings, striking out eight, and allowing a couple of crucial walks. His ERA on the season now sat at 2.25.
Sergio Romo entered in the eighth inning and walked the bases loaded while allowing one run. He ended with 1.0 IP and 4 BB in the game.
Offensively, Avisail Garcia was the hero for the Rays, driving in three of the four runs. He was 3-4 with 3 RBI and a walk, bringing his average to .296 on the season.