Rays hang on to edge Marlins, 5-4

by Gary Shelton on May 26, 2022

in general

Thursday, 4 a.m.

It wasn't so much a victory as it was an escape. It wasn't so much a statement as it was a question.

The Tampa Bay Rays won 5-4 over the Miami Marlins Wednesday night, but it wasn't the most triumphant of moments. It was more a matter of "How did we get away with that one?"

The hitting shut down after the first inning. The defense shut down after the eighth. The pitching was spotty all night long. For a long while, it seemed the Rays were about to fold up for the third time in five games.

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It didn't happen because Colin Poche endured his faltering defense in the ninth , striking out Jesus Aguilar with the bases loaded to win the game. Both Taylor Walls and Wander Franco had made errors to go with two infield hits and a walk in the inning before Poche pitched his way out trouble.

"Colin didn't put himself in that situation -- about four other people did," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Colin really stepped up  in a big way. We put all kinds of pressure on him and he kept throwing strikes. He stayed within himself and picked us up in a big way. Going into that inning, the five runs was probably the highlight, but Colin’s efforts certainly changed that."

Poche earned his first save of the year.

The Rays scored five times in the first inning, two on a double by Randy Arozarena and two on a homer by Harold Ramirez. But afterward, the Rays managed just three hits. The Marlins battled back, scoring three times off of starter Drew Rasmussen.

 "I got a little frustrated with myself after the second inning," Rasmussen said. "The third inning was kind of by-product of that. I just threw too many pitches in the second. Walks. you know me, I don’t like walks. Back-to- back walks, that can’t happen. You’ve got to make them put the ball in play. We have too good a defense to not force them to hit their way on base."

Franco, mired in a slump, had two doubles for the Rays.

"We have a couple of guys it hasn’t been coming easy for, Wander included," Cash said. "For him to get the double in the first and another double was encouraging."

The Rays are home at Tropicana Field tonight at 6:40 to face the New York Yankees. The Rays' pitcher has yet to be determined, but the Yankees will start Nestor Cortes.

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