Marlins Tack On Five Runs In Fifth Inning To Take Down Rays


In the latest chapter of the rivalry between the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins, the Fish came out on top. Miami secured a 5-3 victory on Saturday afternoon to improve to 3-9 in Grapefruit League play. The Rays fell to 6-7 following their loss.

The Marlins’ bullpen combined for a strong outing, only giving up four hits on the day. Trevor Rogers got the start on the mound, pitching four innings and striking out five batters. However, he also surrendered a two-run home run in the third inning. After Rogers departed the mound, reliever Matt Barnes allowed a solo home run that gave Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead.

Despite their early deficit, Miami contained Tampa Bay’s offense as the game went on. In the final three innings, the Rays only picked up a single hit, which came on a single in the eighth. Bryan Hoeing got the win on the mound, pitching 1.1 innings and allowing no hits, walks or runs. JT Chargois and Dylan Floro each notched a hold in the seventh and eighth inning, respectively. Finally, Steven Okert struck out three consecutive batters in the final inning to secure the save and the win.

Jesus Sanchez led the way for the Marlins at the plate. He went 3-for-3 on the day and knocked out two doubles, picking up an RBI along the way. C.J. Hinojosa and Bryan De La Cruz each blasted out a triple in the fifth inning to drive in a combined three runs. Jerar Encarnacion picked up an RBI-single of his own in the fifth inning as well.

Miami Gets Off To A Slow Start

The afternoon started relatively quiet for both sides. Rogers kept the Rays hitless for the first two innings, racking up three swinging strikeouts along the way. By the end of the game, Rogers had increased his spring training strikeout total to a team-high 11 Ks. He has also maintained an ERA of 2.000 in his three appearances so far. Rogers has continued showing flashes of his All-Star past, and he continues to grow more confident with every game he plays.

“Not to toot my own horn at all, but I think I’m getting better each and every time out there,” Rogers said. “Just getting more consistent and falling in love with the process each and every day. I’m just really happy with where I’m at right now.”

While Rogers kept the Rays off the board early on, the Marlins could not find their groove offensively. Despite a leadoff double for Sanchez and a single into centerfield for Jazz Chisholm, Miami failed to drive either runner home. The following inning, all three batters grounded out to the Tampa Bay infield.

In the top of the third inning, Austin Shenton led off with a double for the Rays. Rogers managed to secure two outs in the subsequent at-bats, but he could not sit down Tampa Bay’s Josh Lowe. Lowe belted out a 400-foot home run over the right field fence to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

Two innings later, Barnes replaced Rogers on the mound. Ruben Cardenas, the first batter Barnes faced, proceeded to knock out a 383-foot bomb over the left field wall. Barnes was eventually replaced by Hoeing after 0.2 innings; the latter pitched forced a line out immediately after taking the mound.

Bouncing Back In The Bottom Of The Fifth

With their backs against the wall, the Marlins proceeded to light up the bats in a spectacular fifth inning. Following a leadoff walk for Jacob Amaya, Xavier Edwards sent a double into left field to give Miami two runners in scoring position. Hinojosa then knocked in his triple to score both runners.

Following a double from Sanchez, Hinojosa scored the tying run for Miami. After Dane Myers replaced Sanchez on the base paths, he gave Miami a 4-3 lead after scoring on a single from Encarnacion. De La Cruz eventually topped it all off with a triple of his own to drive Encarnacion home. After four innings of struggles in the batter’s box, the Marlins got their offense clicking and fully took over the game from there.

“Those hitting [coaches] spend hours on each guy to make sure that these guys are prepared,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “There’s a lot of stuff that we’re trying to make their brain work and their minds work, and not just think about mechanics. They’re trying to work through and see what the pitcher has, try to gameplan accordingly on deck and trust the process.”

The rest of the game came and went in a flash. Neither squad managed to score any more runs, with both bullpens limiting the amount of offensive action in the final four innings. Following Okert’s three-K ninth inning, Miami clinched the win in style.

The Marlins will take on the Houston Astros on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

About Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a second-year student at the University of Florida. He is majoring in Journalism and specializing in Sports and Media.

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