Donning terribly ugly camouflage uniforms in front of a cool 13,000 fans, the Miami Marlins dropped game today’s in-state Memorial Day match up against the hosting Tampa Bay Rays. Jose Fernandez started the game and lasted only 3.1 innings, being tagged for seven runs along the way. The offense did show some fight today, scoring six runs on eleven hits.
Fernandez was in trouble early, as the Rays worked two walks to lead off the second inning. After a Desmond Jennings hit by pitch to load the bases, the floodgates opened. A sac fly, a single, a fielder’s choice, and finally Kelly Johnson’s first homer of the day, a three-run shot, left the Marlins down 0-6 going into the third.
Miami answered with three runs in the fourth inning. Justin Ruggiano mashed his team-leading eighth home run to put the Fish on the board, followed by a string of hits from Greg Dobbs, Adeiny Hechavarria, and Chris Coghlan to tack on two more runs to cut the Rays lead in half, 3-6.
Fernandez was yanked in favor of Duane Below after giving up two one-out singles in the fourth. Below, in just his second appearance for the Fish allowed one run (charged to Fernandez) getting out of the fourth, and worked a scoreless fifth.
Miami got to Tampa’s struggling bullpen in the fifth and decreased the Rays lead to one, as Josh Lueke relieved starter Jake Odorizzi with the bases loaded. Dobbs singled to score two more, and designated hitter Jordan Brown kept the inning alive with an infield single to score Rob Brantly. The bottom of the fifth arrived with the Marlins trailing 5-6.
Both offenses scuffled until the eighth inning. Dan Jennings made his 2013 debut in the sixth and offered a scoreless 1.1 innings. A.J. Ramos took over in the seventh, and cruised into the eighth until giving up a game-sealing three-run homer to Kelly Johnson. Fernando Rodney needed 21 pitches to close out the Marlins’ 38th loss by a score of 6-10.
Here is a video of Jose Fernandez talking to the Marlins media after the game:
— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) May 27, 2013
A couple notes:
It was the first meeting between the two teams since the Yunel Escobar/Derek Dietrich trade. It is very telling for both teams to see similar batters in totally different parts of the lineup: Dietrich at the three-hole, while Escobar did his hitting at the nine spot.
While Kelly Johnson had a great four hit day including two homers, his double was an infield popup and his stolen base came during an intentional walk. C’mon, Fish.