MO2 overview: Rays rally past Marlins with four in ninth in Citrus Series
The Rays have claimed the first two games of the Citrus Series, coming back in the ninth inning to beat the Marlins 6-4 at loanDepot park
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
MIAMI — Just when it appeared the Citrus Series was about to be all evened up, the Rays rallied.
Joey Wendle did the big damage, blasting a three-run home run off Anthony Bass in the ninth inning. Francisco Mejia tacked on a sacrifice fly, and Tampa Bay handed the Marlins a demoralizing, 6-4, defeat on Friday at loanDepot park.
The Marlins were unable to protect a two-run lead in the ninth inning, and fell to 0-2.
Joey Wendle was looking for a pitch up. He got it, and didn’t miss.
Per Statcast, Wendle’s three-run homer bounced off the second deck in right field. It traveled 385 feet, with an exit velocity of 100.7 mph.
“I was just looking for something up in the zone,” Wendle told Bally Sports Sun postgame. “I chased one down in the zone earlier in the game. I was trying to get something up and he left a splitter up for me, and I was able to drive it.”
The illustration shows that Bass’ split-finger fastball hung enough for Wendle to do damage.
Tampa Bay added some insurance when Francisco Mejia lifted a sacrifice fly after Manuel Margot’s triple that had an exit velocity of 108.2 mph.
Earlier, Margot had a home run that made it 2-0 in the seventh inning.
The Rays have that way of finding a way. And what Wendle said postgame caught our attention: “It seemed like everybody kind of wanted to be the guy to break things open for us.”
Marte awakens: Four at-bats. Four strikeouts. Opening Day wasn’t Starling Marte’s day, as the Miami center fielder struck out in all four of his trips to the plate. It was a different story on Friday. Marte went 3-for-5, and showed why he is the Marlins’ best position player.
The Marlins have some interesting and promising position players, but Marte is the key. From his swing to his athleticism, he is the club’s most complete hitter.
All that Jazz: Jazz Chisholm Jr. did not make the roster to be used in a straight platoon situation. That’s why Jazz got the start against lefty Ryan Yarbrough. The 23-year-old has had good at-bats in each of the first two games.
Chisholm had a seventh-inning triple off Chaz Roe that had an exit speed of 108.6 mph. Earlier, he had a flyout off Yarbrough that had a 106.4 mph exit velocity.
Chisholm’s hitting the ball with authority. The quality of his takes are impressive, and he brings energy. His triple off Roe came with two outs and Miami down 2-0. The Marlins rallied for three runs.
LHP Ryan Yarbrough, Rays: Worked his cutter effectively down in the zone. Of his 65 pitches, 32 were cut fastballs.
RHP Pablo Lopez, Marlins: Lopez had a high pitch count early on, and it led to his exit after five shutout innings. Pablo is a fastball, changeup pitcher. He threw 30 four-seam fastballs and 19 changeups. He’s been phasing in a cutter to break away from right-handers, throwing 10 of them as well as mixing in eight curveballs.