Trevor Rogers Shines but Miami Loses in Extras Against Tampa Bay

Miami, Florida–  Trevor Rogers was back on the mound for the Miami Marlins making his first start since July 25. The Marlins were concluding a two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays and it was the last game of the 2022 Citrus Series. The Rays took the first two games at Tampa and won the series opener in Miami last night 7-2.

The Rays answered with Drew Rasmussen on the mound and they hoped for a long outing. Tampa Bay had to use seven of their bullpen arms in yesterday’s game since Shane McClanahan was scratched less than an hour from the first pitch. He was placed on the 15-day IL with a left shoulder impingement.

The Marlins had a late pregame scratch of their own for today’s game. Team captain, Miguel Rojas, sat out with right wrist discomfort. He would explain after the game that he has been dealing with the wrist issue since the team started playing after the All-Star break. He is going to be evaluated tomorrow since it’s becoming too hard to play through the pain.

This was the final game for the Marlins in August, a month they would definitely like to forget about. The injuries have been too much to withstand and their offense has been struggling to manufacture runs. Miami did not even come close to finishing the month on a high note.

R & R

Rasmussen and Rogers kept the game moving at a quick pace. Rogers worked out of a jam in the first inning when he gave up two singles but his defense came through with a 6-4-3 double play. Rasmussen retired the first eight Marlins to start off the game. Peyton Burdick finally notched one in the hit column for Miami with a two-out infield single but was left stranded on base.

Both starters exchanged zeroes through the game’s first five innings. Their stats were practically identical, giving up three hits apiece. The only difference was that the Rays were making solid contact frequently off of Rogers while the Marlins were having trouble just getting the ball out of the infield. All three of hits surrendered by Rasmussen through the first five innings were infield singles.

The game’s first jolt of offense came in the sixth inning for both teams. In the top of the sixth, Yandy Diaz led off the inning with a double to right center field. Rogers retired the next two batters but a familiar face continues to haunt Miami.

Former Marlin, Harold Ramirez, would bring Diaz in with a double down the left field line to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead. Rogers escaped the inning limiting the damage to just 0ne run. Miami didn’t wait long to respond to Tampa Bay’s lead.

Berti Ball!

Jon Berti had himself an all-around great game. He wasn’t scheduled to play today but ended up starting at third base due to Rojas’ wrist discomfort. Berti singled in the fourth and stole a base that same inning to tack on to his National League stolen base lead which now stands at 32.

Berti came through for Miami in the bottom of the 6th. With one out, Berti tied the game with a solo home run to left field. That was the only blemish in Rasmussen’s outing and he held Miami to that lone run. The game was tied 1-1 after six innings and the night was over for Rogers and Rasmussen.

This was Rogers’ most complete outing all season. It is only the third time he has thrown six or more innings this season. It has been an up-and-down season for the 24-year-old in his third year in the big leagues. The last month of the season can be a great opportunity for Rogers to finish strong and build something for 2023.

“As we talked about before the game, just kind of building on the last one and AAA and then another good one tonight. He seem to hold his stuff, everything seemed to go really well. Hopefully, nothing happens from the back or anything coming off of this. We wouldn’t expect it but happy with the way he threw the ball,” said Don Mattingly after tonight’s game.

Both teams tapped into their bullpens for the final three innings of the game. The Rays’ best chance to score the go-ahead run came in the 8th inning but Berti had other plans. Dylan Floro was tasked with the eighth inning after Tanner Scott threw a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh.

The Rays led off the inning with back-to-back singles but Floro got Manuel Margot to fly out for the first out. Randy Arozarena came up next and he hit a groundball to Berti and he turned a 5-3 double play to get Floro out of the inning. After that inning, Berti was taken out of the game and was feeling discomfort in his hip. Luke Williams took over at third for the remainder of the game.

50 One-Run Games

Both teams did not score in the ninth inning and it stayed tied 1-1 going into extra innings. Miami had a chance to walk off in the bottom of the ninth. The Marlins worked back-to-back walks with one out but Lewin Diaz grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. The game was headed to extra innings.

After Steven Okert pitched a scoreless ninth, Tommy Nance came in for Miami to handle the tenth inning. Nance struck out the first two batters he faced but the Marlins decided to walk Yandy Diaz since he was 3-3 for the game. With the placement runner on second base, Miami did not want to take any chances with Diaz.

Manuel Margot made Miami pay for the decision and he singled to center field to bring in the go-ahead run. Nance worked out of the jam and limited Tampa Bay to just one run. Miami started the bottom of the tenth with a runner in scoring position but Jalen Beeks retired the Marlins in order to secure his second save of the season. The Marlins dropped the series finale against the Rays 2-1 and were swept in the season series.

Miami will enter the final month of the season on a similar pace to finish with the same record as last year. This has been a historically awful month for Miami’s offense and turning the calendar could be a clean slate. They have played in 50 one-run games and have a record of 21-29.

Miami has an off day tomorrow and will hit the road for six games. They will play their division rivals during the road trip. Three games against the Atlanta Braves and then a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Photo | Karla Moreno

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