After taking the first game of part 1 of this week's two Citrus Series, the Rays completed the two-game sweep at the Trop Tuesday night with an exciting comeback victory.
Jeremy Hellickson struggled mightily in this game right out of the gate against Miami's historically-bad offense. A Justin Ruggiano RBI single in the second and then two RBI triples in the third put the Marlins out in front early by a score of 4-0.
The Rays would respond in the bottom half of the inning, plating three runs off Kevin Slowey. Matt Joyce knocked in a run with a sac fly and then Kelly Johnson continued his hot hitting with a two-run double.
In the fourth, Yunel Escobar would tie the game with an RBI double.
Chris Coghlan, who give Rays pitchers a real hard time in these two past games, homered in the six to give the Marlins a 5-4 edge. Hellickson would finish the night going 5.1 innings deep (104 pitches, 67 strikes), allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out three and walking one.
Tampa Bay's bats would go right back to work, as Jose Lobaton tied the game right back up at 5-5 in that same inning.
Skipping to the eighth, Joel Peralta would give up a go-ahead single to Greg Dobbs. Miami wasn't able to keep the late lead, however, as Escobar's hot bat provided a game-tying RBI single with two outs in the bottom half of the frame.
Following a perfect inning from Fernando Rodney, the Rays had a chance to win it in the ninth with the scored tied 6-6. Kelly Johnson and Evan Longoria started off the inning with singles, and then James Loney and Luke Scott followed with unproductive flyouts. That brought up Desmond Jennings, who delivered with a walkoff single to right field.
The Rays will begin another two-game series against the Marlins tonight, this time in Miami. Roberto Hernandez (2-5, 5.73 ERA) will take the mound against rookie right-hander Tom Koehler (0-2, 3.18 ERA); first pitch at 7:10 ET.
Rays News and Notes:
- The Rays collected 16 hits in this ballgame. Luke Scott, Desmond Jennings and Yunel Escobar all had three-hit games. Kelly Johnson and Jose Lobaton both had two-hit games.
- Desmond Jennings is 5-7 ever since being moved down in the lineup out of leadoff role.
- The Rays optioned Jake Odorizzi (9 ER in 2 starts, 9 innings pitched) back down to Triple-A Durham yesterday in order to get some relief help for the worn out bullpen. Odorizzi won't replace David Price again Saturday, as either Alex Torres or Chris Archer (more likely) will be called up to make the start. Alex Torres is likely to be called up to the 'pen.
- David Price (triceps), who's expected to be out until mid-to-late June, played catch for the second straight day yesterday.
- Top prospect Wil Myers is starting to heat up. He had two big homers last night in Durham, and has now hit five long balls in his last six games.
- Josh Sale, who just recently came off a suspension, is back in trouble.