Miami Marlins 1, Tampa Bay Rays 0
The Miami Marlins completed a two game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays with a 1-0 win Tuesday night at Marlins Park. Neither team could muster any offense, as the Marlins scattered five hits (four singles) over the course of the game. The game’s lone run was plated by a Christian Yelich based loaded walk in the fifth inning.
The lowly Rays, now losers of eight straight overall and ten straight on the road, were stymied by Henderson Alvarez. Alvarez went the distance for his third complete game shutout of the season, surrendering eight hits, seven of which were singles, while walking none.
After leaving his last start early with elbow stiffness, Alvarez showed no signs of any hindrance during his dominant performance Tuesday.
Chris Archer was almost equally efficient, but did allow the one run in his seven innings of work. He walked two and struck out eight.
The 2014 Citrus Series now shifts to Tropicana Field for two games on Wednesday and Thursday. The Marlins have won two straight while the Rays are heading in the polar opposite direction, securely entrenched in the AL East basement at 23-36.
There wasn’t much action to go around, but the grades must go on!
Henderson Alvarez, SP: A
9.0 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K
The Rays had a base runner in six innings but couldn’t muster any clutch at-bats against Alvarez. Henderson Alvarez now leads the majors with three shutouts this season. He was aided by Yunel Escobar‘s gaffe in the fifth, where he tried to catch the Marlins defense napping by swiping second base immediately after reaching first on a single. Alvarez was alerted by his infield and calmly turned and threw Escobar out at second. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon challenged the call to no avail.
Christian Yelich, LF: B-
0-for-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 SO
Yelich had the game’s only RBI when he drew a bases loaded full-count walk in the fifth. He did not record a hit, but did walk twice while also striking out twice, so I think a B- is fitting.
Marcell Ozuna, CF: B-
1-for-3, 1 2B, 2 SO
Ozuna’s seventh inning double was Miami’s only extra base hit in the contest. He was victim to two of the Marlins ten strikeouts of the night.
Actually, I am going to give the Marlins pitching an A and the offense a C. I guess that equates to a nice, clean B overall. Henderson Alvarez was lights out and saved the bullpen, but the bats were virtually silent. The team had only five hits and scored its only run on a walk. But a win is a win and we are back to two games above .500. Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee both went 0-for-3, so it makes sense that they didn’t score much. Hopefully the bats will wake up when the series shifts to St. Pete, but I’ll take the wins any way they come.