Rays slide to win over Marlins in Odorizzi's return
By Joe Frisaro and Bill Chastain
MIAMI -- Kevin Kiermaier often impacts games with his defense in center field. On Monday night, it was his disruptive slide at second base that helped the Rays push across the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of their 4-2 win over the Marlins at Marlins Park.
The Rays grabbed the lead on Steven Souza Jr.'s fielder's choice RBI grounder to third with the bases loaded. Miami attempted to turn an inning-ending double play, but Kiermaier, who walked as a pinch-hitter, prevented Dee Gordon from making a throw to first.
The Marlins had pulled even in the fourth inning on Marcell Ozuna's home run, a line drive into the pool inside the Clevelander club located behind the left-field wall. A fan dove into the water to retrieve the ball.
Both starters were effective, allowing just two hits each. Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi, reinstated from the disabled list after being out with a left hamstring strain, gave up two runs in five innings.
"Nice win, awesome win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We came in a little beat up, and the guys really came through. Odo was outstanding, really happy to have him back on the mound. And Tim Beckham, him and [Daniel Robertson] both came up with some big hits and made some tremendous plays defensively for us. We played a really, really clean baseball game, and that allowed us to stay in it and win."
Miami left-hander Wei-Yin Chen yielded two runs while striking out seven and walking four over six frames.
"I thought Wei-Yin was good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Other than that one inning [in the fourth], he stayed aggressive. It's 2-2 when he comes out of that. At that point, we're kind of in decent shape. We had a few guys we tried to stay away from."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Rays slide into lead: The crucial replay review went in Tampa Bay's favor and led to the go-ahead run in the seventh inning. On Souza's chopped grounder to third, the Marlins attempted to turn an inning-ending double play. But after Gordon secured the out at second, he didn't throw to first because of Kiermaier's slide. Kiermaier raised up and tried to prevent Gordon from falling.
"I slid, and I just popped up and he was right there and all of his body weight," Kiermaier said. "He, you know I like Dee, he's such a light guy -- I didn't even feel him pretty much when he was on my shoulder. I just popped up and his gravity, I don't know, something, he was just laying on me. I just put my hands up like I'm not doing anything wrong. I'm glad that didn't get overturned. I would have been livid."
The Marlins challenged that Kiermaier was in violation of Rule 6.01(j), which deals with legal slides. After a review of 2 minutes, 59 seconds, the ruling was confirmed, putting the Rays up, 3-2. Had Miami won the challenge, the play would have resulted in an inning-ending double play, keeping the score tied.
"It looked like the slide itself, he hits the ground fine, but when he stands up, that's when Dee can't throw," Mattingly said. More >
Miller steals twice, scores:Brad Miller picked opportune times to steal his first two bases of the season. After reaching on a leadoff walk by Junichi Tazawa in the eighth inning, Miller swiped second and third, putting himself in position for Robertson's two-out RBI single, which gave the Rays a two-run cushion. Miller capitalized on Tazawa's slow delivery to the plate, swiping both bases easily.
"I was just fighting it. I felt pretty good in the bullpen. I went out and overthrowed it a little bit. Giving the leadoff double didn't help because every pitch after that was high stress, trying to keep him from scoring. Trying to be too fine and not trying my stuff and trusting my defense enough." -- Brad Ziegler on giving up the double to Derek Norris and the go-ahead run in the seventh.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Marlins Park agrees with Beckham. After going 1-for-3 with a two-run double, the Rays' shortstop raised his average in Miami to .429 (6-for-14) with a home run and five RBIs. Beckham's two-out, two-run double off Chen in the fourth inning put the Rays in front by a run.
In the first inning, the Rays challenged the call that Gordon was safe sliding into third after Rays catcher Norris' attempt to throw out Gordon stealing second went into center field. After a delay of 2 minutes, 37 seconds, the call on the field stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Alex Cobb (1-2, 4.66 ERA) will make his first Interleague start since before his Tommy John surgery when he takes the mound against the Marlins in a 7:10 p.m. ET Tuesday contest at Marlins Park. That last start took place on Aug. 10, 2014, at Chicago. He is 7-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 12 career Interleague appearances.
Marlins: Miami and Tampa Bay wrap up the Marlins Park version of the Citrus Series on Tuesday. Edinson Volquez (0-3, 4.44 ERA) seeks his first victory with the Marlins. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.65 ERA lifetime against the Rays.