Smyly, Sizemore help Rays knock off Marlins
ST. PETERSBURG -- Drew Smyly notched his sixth quality start of the season and Grady Sizemore came through with a two-out, three-run double to fuel a 6-4 Rays win over the Marlins on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.
Smyly held the Marlins to one run on three hits in six innings to claim his fifth consecutive decision, which ranks second to his streak of nine from July 1, 2012 to April 4, 2014.
"Obviously [the stints on the DL were] not the way I wanted to start, but it's kind of out of my control," Smyly said. "I worked hard, I rehabbed, put in the time and very happy with how I finished the season."
Sizemore's bases-loaded double came in the fifth after Nick Franklin's solo home run gave the Rays their first lead at 2-1. Sizemore's hit pushed the lead to 5-1.
"In the fifth inning, [Jarred Cosart] didn't make the one pitch when he needed to, and Sizemore got that double," Miami manager Dan Jennings said.
Marcell Ozuna, Miguel Rojas and Dee Gordon of the Marlins had RBI singles in the fourth, seventh and ninth respectively.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cosart falters in fifth: For three innings, it looked as if Cosart was on his way to fantastic finish to his season. The Miami right-hander hadn't allowed a hit, but in the fourth inning, the Rays got on the board on Asdrubal Cabrera's sacrifice fly to center. Still, Cosart was positioned to get through five or six innings. But with two outs in the fifth inning, he allowed the home run to Frankin, and then couldn't find the plate. Cosart's 85th, and final pitch of the season, was a bases-clearing double to Sizemore. Cosart, who dealt with vertigo and a right inner ear disorder this year, finished with five earned runs allowed, four strikeouts and four walks in 4 2/3 innings.
"I think everyone got to see about everything you can see in a baseball game. Really good. No-hit stuff. I thought I had a chance to go deep, throw a no-hitter," Cosart said. "I got out of a huge jam [in the fourth], that was a positive. I kind of lost the feel for my secondary stuff as the game went on. I knew they swing early. So I was going to have to throw my breaking stuff in early counts, which I was doing early, and I was locating my fastball. I just got behind as the game went on."
Franklin power: Franklin has had a tough season. After being earmarked to make his first Opening Day roster, he suffered an oblique injury. When he returned he did not hit, so he spent most of the season at Triple-A Durham. The Rays acquired Franklin because he has a high ceiling. The home run he hit in the fifth showed some of that promise as it cleared the wall in center field, giving him three for the season while giving Rays fans hope for 2016.
Sizemore shuffle: Sizemore struck out with the bases loaded in the fourth when he swung at a low pitch that would have been ball four. Given a reprieve in the fifth, the veteran slugger slapped a double the opposite way. By the time the ball had quit rattling around in the left-field corner, three runs scored.
Double for Bour: The Marlins grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. It was short lived because the Rays rallied. But in the inning, Miami got going with a rare double by Justin Bour against a lefty. Bour laced his two-base hit off the top of the wall in right. It hit the yellow stripe, and was inches away from being his first home run off a lefty. The double was the Miami first baseman's 18th, and fourth against a lefty. Ozuna followed with an RBI single. The Marlins are testing to see if Bour can handle facing lefties as the evaluate for 2016.
"Ozo is a run producer," Jennings said. "He has to be able to do that very thing, and he did. It's good to see. It put on the board. Good at-bat."
"I'm trying to take the positive and take the good of September out of it. I was able to give up three runs in [19 2/3] innings before tonight. I am healthy. I think that's the biggest thing I take out of it. I'm not having any vertigo or balance things. That's behind me." -- Cosart, on finishing the season feeling strong after spending time on the DL due to vertigo and a right inner ear disorder
"It's just an honor, I never would have thought about it coming into this year. To get the opportunity here and to be able to do what I've been able to do is definitely an honor." -- Rays closer Brad Boxberger on recording his 40th save.
KIERMAIER DOES IT AGAIN
Leading off the seventh inning, the Marlins' Derek Dietrich hit a drive to deep center field and Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier broke into a sprint and headed for the warning track while looking at the ball from over his right shoulder. But something told him he needed to shift back the other way, so he twisted back to view the ball from over his left shoulder before leaping. He hauled in the ball backhanded then resembled a bug hitting a windshield as he crashed into the padded center-field wall to complete the amazing play. More >
"We've seen that all year long," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "K.K. takes a ton of pride in helping our pitchers in every way possible. It's funny, you see the quarterbacks who pay their offensive linemen at the end of the year for protecting them. They ought to be dishing out money to K.K. for all the runs he's saved."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Smyly's eight strikeouts gave him 45 for the month of September, which tied the left-hander with Scott Kazmir (2007) for the Rays' September record for strikeouts.
The Rays challenged the call at second when Steven Souza Jr. slid into the base on a force play. After one-minute and 20 seconds passed, the call on the field was overturned.
The overturn was huge, because the Rays broke open a 5-1 lead afterwards because Sizemore followed with a three-run double.
"[Rojas] has played an unbelievable shortstop," Jennings said. "I commend the kid because he's played outstanding. I think he probably thought he had a little more time than he had. It would have been easy for him to throw across there with two outs. It's one of those plays where he thought he had more time than he did."
Marlins: The Marlins close out their Interleague schedule on Thursday night in the series finale at 7:10 ET at Tropicana Field. Jose Fernandez (6-0, 2.91 ERA) makes his final start of the year. Fernandez attended high school in Tampa, Fla. On the road, Fernandez is 1-0 with a 3.42 ERA.
Rays: Jake Odorizzi (8-9, 3.49) makes his final start of the season as the Rays wrap up their three-game set against the Marlins. He has allowed multiple home runs in three of his five September starts, after doing so only twice in his first 22 starts this season. Eight of his 18 home runs allowed this season have come in September.
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