MLB Game Preview - Marlins v Rays

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Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Miami0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 370
Tampa Bay0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 250
  W: P. López (2-1)   L: R. Yarbrough (8-5)   S: K. Barraclough (10)
3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, July 21, 2018
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida  Attendance: 13,808

Rays, Marlins seek to establish winning ways

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Marlins at Tampa Bay Rays

  1. The Marlins won five of seven to close out the first half of the season, and remain percentage points ahead of the Mets for fourth place in the NL East. Since June 15, Miami has averaged 4.62 runs per game, fifth most in NL over that time.
  2. Since June 22, Tampa's 15-7 record is the third best in MLB behind Boston (18-4) and Oakland (17-6). During this 22-game stretch, the Rays have averaged 5.2 runs per game, after previously averaging 3.9 runs per game in their first 74 games this season.
  3. Tampa Bay's pitching and defense has limited opponents to a .273 batting average on balls in play this season, lowest in MLB. The Rays have allowed 7.59 hits per nine innings, third lowest in MLB behind the Astros (6.91) and the Yankees (7.49).
  4. In his most recent start, Nathan Eovaldi allowed eight earned runs in a season-low 2.2 innings in an 11-8 loss at Minnesota. In his three starts prior to that last start, including one start against the Marlins, Eovaldi went 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA and a 23-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
  5. In 13 games in July, C.J. Cron is slashing .409/.447/.773 with three home runs, seven doubles, and 11 RBI. Among AL players with at least 40 plate appearances in July, Cron's 1.220 OPS ranks second behind Mookie Betts (1.269).
  6. Since June 25, Starlin Castro has batted .378 (31-for-82) to raise his season batting average from .267 to .291. Castro has 12 multi-hit games over this span, tied for most in baseball with Trevor Story.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 7/20/2018 thru 7/22/2018

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- As hard as the Tampa Bay Rays worked to get above .500 with a summer surge, they've now dropped four of five games, including a frustrating 6-5 loss to the Miami Marlins on Friday night.

Tampa Bay (49-48) saw their bullpen give up five runs in the seventh inning, committing two errors on one play, then saw a ninth-inning surge cut a 6-1 deficit to 6-5 with two runners on before the final out.

"Too little, too late," Rays manager Kevin Cash said of his team's late rally, saying they looked "like a team that had four days off" until the final inning, thanks to the All-Star break.

The Marlins (42-57), meanwhile, have won four of five, keeping them ahead of the Mets in the division cellar and giving them a 3-1 series lead on their intrastate rivals.

"We got on a roll and won the first game of the second half," said Derek Dietrich, who had two home runs against the team that drafted him in 2010, including a three-run shot in the seventh to put the Marlins ahead. "I'm just happy to get it rolling here and get a win in the first game out of the All-Star break."

The Rays will go back to an unlikely source of their midseason success: using relievers as "openers" in regular bullpen days as they push on without injured starting pitchers. On Saturday, that will be Ryne Stanek (1-2, 2.08 ERA), who has a 1.08 ERA in 19 appearances since June 1, including 10 starts.

Stanek's lone loss in those seven weeks came against these Marlins on July 2, pitching in the 10th inning and giving up a walk and two hits in a 3-2 walkoff win for Miami. He had warmed up to pitch in the eighth inning Friday but was not used, allowing him to start as scheduled.

Miami will answer with rookie Pablo Lopez, who is making just his fourth major-league start, with a 1-1 record and 6.35 ERA. He has allowed five earned runs in each of his last two outings, though he struck out six in six innings in his last start. He pitched well in the minors this season, carrying a 1.44 ERA in 12 starts between Double-A and Triple-A, striking out 66 batters against only 12 walks.

The Rays may be without center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, who left Friday's game in the fifth inning after a right foot injury flared up painfully. Kiermaier said he fouled a ball off his foot on April 8 and the injury never went away, so while he's had good and bad days, Friday was the worst he'd dealt with all season.

"You would think me being on the 60-day DL (with thumb injury), it would go away," Kiermaier said. "It's crazy that it's still a thing, but I've been feeling it ... It's frustrating because I haven't been able to get rid of this. I've had good days and bad days, but today was the worst day I've had."

Updated July 21, 2018

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