Rays Pitchers Unable To Get Key Outs, Defense Doesn’t Help In 12-7 Defeat In MiamiFollow @Steve_Kinsella1
Tampa – The Miami Marlins were aggressive on the bases against Rich Hill. Austin Meadows defense in right field made Chris Archer‘s return uncomfortable. Neither Ryan Thompson or Jeffrey Springs were able to get key outs when they needed to. Collin McHugh makes his debut and the first pitch he throws is hit out of the park. Things didn’t get better for McHugh from there as Miami scored two more runs against him. The Marlins put their foot on the neck of the Rays from the very first inning and didn’t let up in what can only be described as an ugly loss for Tampa Bay.
Chris Archer (0-1, 13.50 ERA) takes the loss for the Rays who fall to 2-1. Richard Bleier (1-0, 4.50 ERA) picks up the win the Marlins improve to 1-2 and end the Rays seven game winning streak at LoanDepot Park.
How It Happened
Miguel Rojas opened the game with a 10 pitch at-bat ending with a walk and advanced to second on a Starling Marte single. Both Rojas and Marte advanced on a double steal. Rojas scored on a sacrifice fly by Jesus Aguilar to put the Marlins up 1-0. Hill struck out Garrett Cooper for the second out and retired Lewis Brinson on a grounder to short to limit the damage to one run.
Yandy Diaz opened the second inning with a single and moved to second on a groundout by Kevin Kiermaier. Willy Adames groundout out leaving it up to Mike Zunino to drive him in with 2-out. After a third strike that home plate umpire Mike Estarbrook missed , Zunino delivered a 2-run homer, his first of the year, to put the Rays up 2-1.
Miami came back in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 2-2. Jon Berti doubled past a diving Austin Meadows in right and came in to score on an opposite field single by Chad Wallach. The Rays defense came up with a nice play to keep the Marlins from taking the lead. Miguel Rojas doubled into the left field corner. The not so fleet of foot Wallach attempted to score from first but Manuel Margot delivered a perfect throw to Willy Adames who fired a seed home to Mike Zunino who put the tag on Wallach for the final out.
Elieser Hernandez struckout Rich Hill for the first out in the third inning but had to depart the game due to an injury (inflammation of the right bicep tendon). He was replaced by Rule 5 Draft pick Paul Campbell who was drafted by the Rays in the 21st round of the 2017 draft out of Clemson University. Campbell spent the 2019 season split between the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs and the Double A Montgomery Biscuits. He finished the 2019 season 13-8 with a 3.67 ERA spanning 144.2 innings.
Campbell’s first batter was Austin Meadows who lined a single to right. Meadows moved to second on a soft single to right field. Campbell recorded his first big league out by striking out Joey Wendle but both Meadows and Margot advanced as the ball skipped away from Chad Wallach. The Rays were unable to take advantage as Yandy Diaz lined to third for the final out.
The Marlins took the lead back in the bottom of the third. Rich Hill had easily retired the first two batters before Garrett Cooper launched his first homer of the year to put the Marlins up 3-2.
The Rays scored four times in the top of the fifth inning to move in front 6-4. Mike Brosseau opened the inning with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Yoshi Tsutsugo. Austin Meadows walked and Manuel Margot delivered an RBI single to score Brosseau and Margot moved to third. With runners on the corners Don Mattingly went to his bullpen and summoned right hander Adam Cimber in an attempt to get a ground ball double play. Joey Wendle sent a an opposite field single that scored Austin Meadows. Yandy Diaz followed with a double to score both Margot and Wendle. The inning ending when Kevin Kiermaier lined into a double play.
In his debut Paul Campbell worked two innings and was charged with three earned runs on four hits while striking out one and walking one.
Chris Archer made his Rays return in the fifth inning. The inning started with a long flyball out off the bat of Miguel Rojas that was run down by Manuel Margot. Starling Marte delivered a 1-out single then things got ugly for Austin Meadows and the Rays. First Jesus Aguilar sent a fly ball to right and Meadows overran it and had it fall on the warning track for an RBI double. Then, Garrett Cooper sent a fly ball to right that Meadows had clank off his glove as he tumbled on to the warning track allowing Jesus Aguilar to make his way home with the game tying run.
Zach Pop followed Adam Cimber to the mound. Cimber worked 0.2-innings and one run on two hits. Like Campbell, Pop is a Rule 5 draft pick and is making his big league debut. Pop was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks and traded to the Marlins for a player to be named later. He was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers and was sent to the Baltimore Orioles in the Manny Machado deal in July of 2018. He underwent Tommy John surgery in May of 2019.
Pop retired the Rays in order in his only inning of work as he was pinch hit for by Corey Dickerson in the bottom of the sixth. Richard Bleier came in to replace Pop and retired the Rays in order in the seventh.
Chris Archer came out to work the seventh inning but departed after walking Miguel Rojas and surrendering a single to Starling Marte. He was replaced by Ryan Thompson who walked Jesus Aguilar to load the bases with nobody out. Garrett Cooper singled to right scoring Rojas putting the Marlins up 7-6. Thompson struck out Lewis Brinson for the first out of the inning and departed.
Jeffrey Springs, making his Rays debut, entered with the bases loaded and 1-out and Jazz Chisholm up. Springs struck out Chisholm for the second out but was unable to escape the jam as Jon Berti lined a single to right scoring Aguilar and Marte to give the Marlins a 9-6 lead. Springs struck out Chad Wallach to end the inning.
Dylan Floro came in to work the eighth inning for Miami. Joey Wendle led off the inning with a double and came in to score when Jon Berti uncorked a wild throw to first with two outs as the Rays trimmed the lead to 9-7.
Collin McHugh, making his Rays debut in the eighth, surrendered a solo homer to Adam Duvall as the Marlins pushed the lead back out to three at 10-7. He then walked Miguel Rojas and allowed a triple to Starling Marte extending the lead to 11-7. Garrett Cooper doubled to drive in Marte and push the lead to 12-7. In his only inning of work McHugh was charged with three earned runs on three hits while striking out one and walking one.
After giving up four runs in the ninth inning on Friday night, the Marlins called on Anthon Bass to work the ninth. He retired the Rays in order putting an exclamation mark on the game by striking out Austin Meadows swinging for the 27th out.
Hill’s Rocky Debut:
Rich Hill certainly wanted to perform better in his Rays debut but he was never able to get into a groove starting with the 10 pitch walk to Miguel Rojas to open the game. He also was unable to slow down the Marlins running game as they stole four bases off him. He allowed four earned runs on five hits while striking out three, walking two, and allowing a home run in four innings of work. He made 71 pitches with 52 for strikes with only two being swinging strikes.
Archer Makes Rays Return:
Chris Archer took the mound for the Rays in the fifth inning. His last appearance for the Rays came in Baltimore against the Orioles on July 27, 2018. He took the loss in that game working six innings allowing four runs (three earned) in a Rays 15-5 loss. It was Archer’s third career relief appearance and first since a 2-inning appearance on September 29, 2012 in Chicago against the White Sox. His other relief appearance came in Baltimore against the Orioles on September 13, 2012. The appearance was the first of any kind for Archer since August 20, 2019 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Washington Nationals.
Archer’s was charged with four runs, three earned on four hits while striking out two and walking one in two plus innings. He threw 52 pitches with 35 for strikes.
Sherriff Takes Leave:
Prior to the game it was revealed that left-hander Ryan Sherriff is taking a leave from the team for personal reasons. The Rays placed him on the restricted list and added catcher Joe Odom from their taxi-squad. Odom was singed as a minor league free agent this past winter.
Odom, 29, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 13th round in 2013. He was selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Seattle Mariners where he spent the 2018 through 2020 season making his big league debut in 2020 making 18 starts hitting just .128 (4×39).
The Rays chose Odom out of the group of infielder Kevin Padlo and Taylor Walls and pitchers Chris Mazza and David Hess. Having an extra catcher on the roster will enable Kevin Cash to utilize Francisco Mejia as a pinch-hitter if so inclined.
Up Next For Rays:
The Rays will enjoy a rare Sunday day off as they travel to Boston to take on the Red Sox in a three game series beginning on Monday night at 7:10. Michael Wacha (1-4, 6.62 ERA in 2020) will make his Rays debut. The Red Sox will counter with Nick Pivetta (2-0, 6,89 ERA in 2020).
Wednesday will be a getaway game as Tampa Bay and Boston conclude the series at 1:10 pm. Ryan Yarbrough (0-0, 0.00 ERA) gets the ball for Tampa Bay. The Rays will face former Ray Nathan Eovaldi (0-1, 1.69 ERA).
Feature Image: (AP Photo/Gaston De Cardenas)