Rays strike back with wild win vs. Miami in 16th

July 4th, 2018

MIAMI -- Plenty of warts covered Tampa Bay's 9-6 win over Miami in 16 innings Tuesday night. Then again, an ugly win is still a win.

"We got off to an early start, then we really didn't play maybe our best, but they found a way and the guys kept grinding through," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Both teams kept grinding a long time. Some odd matchups. Some unique situations presented themselves, but ultimately [we found] a way to win at the end."

The Rays (43-42) have a chance to claim their fourth consecutive series after winning the longest road game in franchise history, which lasted 5 hours and 31 minutes.

Tampa Bay's winning rally almost went up in smoke before coming to fruition.

With the score tied at 4, which it had been since the fifth inning, singled off to open the 16th. Graves hit the next batter, , before grounded to shortstop JT Riddle. Riddle tossed to for the force at second, and the Marlins second baseman then threw to third baseman , who tagged out Field to complete the double play.

Kiermaier stole second, and walked, bringing to the plate. The rookie first baseman laced a two-run double to right to break the stalemate.

"I was lucky to swing. I mean my last two at-bats, I was mentally exhausted," said Bauers, who noted that he had to thank pitcher giving his all after hitting a single in the top of the 15th and getting thrown out sliding head-first into second while trying to stretch the hit into a double. "Watching him give it everything, he had kind of kicked me in the [behind] a little bit. You know, kind of made me say, 'This guy's out there selling out. Let's end this game for him.' That was an incredible effort by him. In all seriousness. Especially on that dive into second base. That was crazy."

Nuno followed Bauers and singled to left to drive home another run, injuring himself on the play, and Monday's starter pinch-ran. followed with a two-run double to make it 9-4.

Cash inserted backup catcher in the bottom of the 16th to try to nail down the win. He did so hoping to save , and for Wednesday's game. The Marlins had other ideas.

, and Castro greeted him with consecutive singles to start the inning and load the bases. After hit a sacrifice fly to center for the first out of the inning, Cash relented and brought in Alvarado to get the final two outs.

J.T. Realmuto hit into a run-scoring fielder's choice, and pinch-hitting pitcher Dan Straily walked, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of , who grounded out to second for the final out.

"Definitely not how you draw it up in a lot of different ways," Duffy said. "Typically in a 16-inning game, there's going to be some ugly things, and there was today.

"Then we had Sucre start the 16th," Duffy giggled. "And they had Straily pinch hit. So, obviously, not an ideal day, but happy to come out with the win."

The Rays used 22 players, which included everyone on the 25-man roster other than Castillo, Andriese and .

' two-run homer off in the first gave the Rays the lead. 's RBI double and 's RBI single in the second pushed the lead to 4-0.

Richards helped his own cause with a two-run single off in the second to cut the Rays' lead to 4-2. surrendered an RBI single to and a sacrifice fly to Realmuto in the fifth to tie the score at 4, and that's where the score remained until after midnight.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

The Marlins had the chance to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Rojas flied out to center field with one out. Kiermaier called off right fielder Field to make the catch then threw a strike to catcher Ramos to nail Anderson at the plate to keep the score tied at 4.

HUNTER'S HEROICS

The Rays recalled from Triple-A Durham on Saturday. He had not pitched since Wednesday in Durham, but the right-hander showed no rust Tuesday night. Entering the game in the sixth, he pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only a walk.

"He was a real bright spot," Cash said.

HE SAID IT

"It's a win. It's a win. Let's come back in 12 hours, whatever it is, and hopefully try and win a game a little quicker." -- Cash, on Tuesday night's game

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY

When Bauers was called safe on an infield single to lead off the third, the Marlins challenged. After a 27-second review, the call on the field was overturned. In the fourth, Riddle was called safe on a steal of second, prompting the Rays to challenge the call. After a review of one minute, 26 seconds, the call on the field was overturned.

UP NEXT

will start Wednesday when the Rays play the Marlins in a 1:10 p.m. ET contest at Marlins Park. He has allowed runs in four of his six appearances since the start of June, pitching to a 5.52 ERA. Right-hander will start for the Marlins.