A First Helps Rays Avoid Sweep By Marlins

posted by Steve Carney - 

THESE FACES.

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ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays had never finished a game by hitting a grand slam.  Until Sunday.

Daniel Robertson's pinch-hit walk-off grand slam off Marlins closer Kyle Barraclough capped a five-run bottom of the ninth inning, as the Rays erased a 4-1 deficit to salvage the finale of the 2018 Citrus Series by a 6-4 score over Miami at Tropicana Field.

Robertson's heroics came after Jake Bauers began the home half of the ninth inning by doubling off Barraclough, with C.J. Cron's base hit moving Bauers to third and Ji-Man Choi singling him home to cut the Marlins' lead to 4-2.  Carlos Gomez struck out and Mallex Smith worked an 11-pitch at-bat before grounding into a fielder's choice, erasing pinch-runner Hunter Wood at second base, but Willy Adames worked a walk to load the bases, and two pitches later, Robertson took Barraclough's 40th pitch of the inning and sent it to the back of the left field seats for his eighth home run of the season.

Chris Archer started the game by striking out the side in the first, but stumbled in the second allowing a one-out single to Justin Bour, a double to Martin Prado and hitting Cameron Maybin to load the bases for Miguel Rojas, who doubled in the first two, with Maybin scoring on an errant throw from Gomez.

Bryan Holaday followed with a base hit through the drawn-in infield to extend Miami's lead to 4-0.

The Rays got one run back in the bottom of the second as Cron drew a leadoff walk, moved to third base on a base hit by Gomez and scored on a Smith sacrifice fly.

Archer finished six complete innings, striking out 13 Marlins hitters in the process to establish a new career-high in a home game, but left the game on the hook for the loss.  Ryne Stanek worked a perfect seventh, and Adam Kolarek (1-0) allowed a hit and a walk in the final two innings to earn the win.

MONDAY'S MATCHUP

Tampa Bay Rays (50-49) vs. New York Yankees (63-34), 7:10 p.m. first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.

Rays starter - RHP Hunter Wood (0-0, 2.70 ERA)

Yankees starter - RHP Luis Severino (14-2, 2.31 ERA)

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

Tuesday - Rays vs. New York Yankees, 7:10 p.m. first pitch

Wednesday - Rays vs. New York Yankees, 12:10 p.m. first pitch

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