MIAMI – Joey Wendle hit a three-run homer, highlighting a four-run rally in the ninth inning that sent the Tampa Bay Rays over the Miami Marlins 6-4 Friday night.
Wendle’s one-out shot off closer Anthony Bass (0-1) landed in the upper deck in right field and erased a 4-2 deficit. Manuel Margot then tripled and scored on Francisco Mejia‘s sacrifice fly.
“He left a splitter right there for me and I kind of ran right into it,” Wendle said.
Margot also homered and Austin Meadows went deep for the second consecutive game, helping Tampa Bay win its seventh straight in Miami dating to 2019. The Rays edged the Marlins 1-0 on opening day Thursday on Meadows’ homer.
“To come back like that is fun,” Wendle said. “The guys are a little more rowdy in the clubhouse after the game and kind of rolls into momentum playing into tomorrow.”
Andrew Kittredge (1-0) gave up a run in the eighth. Diego Castillo got his second save with a scoreless ninth.
“It’s a good group and they recognize we’re not out of ball games,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ve got guys that can put together good at-bats, get on base and have our big popper Joey Wendle come cup and hit a three-run homer.”
Miguel Rojas had a go-ahead, two-run single in the seventh that put Miami ahead 3-2.
Jazz Chisholm had two hits, including a two-out triple off Tampa Bay reliever Chaz Roe that started Miami’s comeback. Ryan Sherriff came in relief after Roe walked Jorge Alfaro and surrendered pinch-hitter Corey Dickerson‘s RBI double that made it 2-1.
Rojas followed with his single that scored Alfaro and Dickerson. The rally ended a season-starting 15 scoreless innings for Miami.
“The guys battled tonight and showed you after not scoring for 15 innings that all of a sudden things start to roll,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “We felt a little better about ourselves offensively after this game. We’re gonna be fine.”
Rays starter Ryan Yarbrough pitched 5 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. Yarbrough, expected to be a mainstay in Tampa Bay’s rotation following the departures of former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell and Charlie Morton in the offseason, struck out three.
Miami’s Pablo Lopez was lifted after five shutout innings. The right-hander allowed two hits, struck out four and walked two.
KNOW THE FEELING
The Washington Nationals had their season-opening series against the New York Mets postponed because of COVID-19 related issues. The Marlins dealt with a week-long shutdown of games last season following an outbreak on the team.
“I think the hardest part is probably what they’re going through right now,” Mattingly said. “You don’t know when you’re going to play. You don’t know what’s going to happen. I think uncertainty is the hardest part of trying to stay ready.”
Marlins: RHP Sixto Sanchez underwent an MRI on Friday in Miami that revealed mild inflammation in the back of his right shoulder. He has been prescribed rest before resuming slow progression on a throwing program.
Rays: LHP Rich Hill (2-2, 3.03 ERA with Minnesota in 2020) makes his debut with his 10th major league club in the series finale Saturday.
Marlins: RHP Elieser Hernandez (1-0, 3.16) gets the start Saturday.