Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Pete Fairbanks, right, shakes hands with catcher Christian Bethancourt after closing out the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 25, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Rays Take Game One Of Sunshine State Showdown Against Marlins

Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins have enjoyed breakthrough 2023 campaigns. But on Tuesday night, in the first meeting between the two squads this season, the Rays came out victorious.

Tampa Bay successfully defended their home turf in a 4-1 win over Miami. The Rays took an early 3-0 lead in the second inning and never looked back. Tyler Glasnow pitched perhaps his finest game to date this season en route to his fourth win of 2023. Glasnow only surrendered two hits, two walks and one run through seven innings on the mound. He also struck out eight Miami batters.

Jason Adam and Pete Fairbanks pitched the final two innings for Tampa Bay. Neither reliever allowed any Marlin on base, with the Fish going 0-for-6 in the eighth and ninth innings. Adam earned his tenth hold this year, while Fairbanks secured his twelfth save of the season.

Offensively, Brandon Lowe led the way for the Rays with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Luke Raley chipped in with a pair of doubles, finishing 2-for-3 in the batter’s box, while Yandy Diaz knocked out a two-RBI double of his own early in the evening.

For Miami, starting pitcher Edward Cabrera struggled on the mound in his sixth loss of the season. Cabrera only lasted two innings, allowing four hits, two walks and three runs in that span. They did not fare much better in the batter’s box, finishing with just two hits on the night.

Rays Get Off To A Strong Start

After a quiet first inning from both sides, Jesus Sanchez led off the top of the second inning with a single into left for the Marlins. With no outs on the board and a speedy Sanchez on first base, the Fish looked primed to jump out to an early lead. However, after Bryan de la Cruz went down swinging on strikes, the Rays caught Sanchez stealing second base. Sanchez’s unsuccessful steal attempt would come back to haunt Miami as the team’s offense stalled out as the game went on.

Meanwhile, with the score still at 0-0, Tampa Bay took advantage of the opportunity they had been presented in the bottom of the inning. Brandon Lowe led off the inning with a single into centerfield, eventually scoring on an RBI knock from Josh Lowe. Later in the inning, Diaz brought two more runs home with a powerful blast into left field. Just like that, Tampa Bay now held a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the third inning, Joey Wendle scored what would end up as Miami’s only run of the game. After reaching first base on a walk, Wendle advanced to third base on a pair of ground outs before scoring on a wild pitch by Glasnow. The Marlins did not land another runner on base until the sixth inning, courtesy of a Jon Berti single into right field. Berti made it to second base on a Luis Arraez groundout, and Jorge Soler followed him up with a walk, but neither runner crossed the plate. A Garrett Cooper swinging strikeout dashed any hopes of a Miami offensive surge.

Brandon Lowe Finishes Miami Off

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Brandon Lowe immediately made a statement for Tampa Bay. On the first pitch he saw, Lowe drove a ball 414 feet into right and over the fence for his 11th home run of the year. Tampa Bay did not do much more damage after Lowe’s solo shot, but they had already essentially sealed their victory. Miami could not muster a response in the final three innings, and the Rays came away victorious on the night.

The Marlins and Rays will return to Tropicana Field on Wednesday afternoon to conclude their midweek series. First pitch is set for 12:10 p.m.

About Jack Meyer

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

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