Drew Smyly, who took the mound for Tampa Bay, put together another encouraging start. The lefty allowed just one run on three hits, while walking three and fanning eight. He allowed two runs or fewer in eight of 12 starts this season, also tying the record for most September strikeouts by a Rays pitcher at 45. The record was previously held by Scott Kazmir.
Orestes Destrade (Fox Sports Florida) hinted that Smyly would likely undergo extensive rest and rehabilitation on his left shoulder in the offseason. It is pretty amazing when you consider that Drew worked his way back from what could have been a career ending injury. Still, there’s no certainty that the proverbial shoe won’t drop on Smyly at some point. The team will undoubtedly do what it can, between now and Spring Training, to give Smyly the best opportunity to succeed moving forward.
Meanwhile, down by one in the fourth inning, the Rays got on the board against Jarred Cosart. John Jaso and Steven Souza Jr. each singled to start the inning. After the Marlins righty uncorked a wild pitch, Evan Longoria walked to load the bases. Grady Sizemore struck out, but Asdrubal Cabrera followed with sacrifice-fly to center field, tying the game one.
Tampa Bay took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Nick Franklin’s third homer of the season, a line drive off Jarred Cosart that landed just beneath the Ray Tank.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 1, 2015
They weren’t done scoring. The Rays then loaded the bases on two walks and an infield hit ― a play that was originally ruled an out at second, but overturned on replay. Sizemore, who went down swinging with the bases loaded an inning earlier, doubled down the left field line, clearing the bases and giving Tampa Bay four run advantage.
Miami cut the lead to 5-2 against Brandon Gomes in the seventh, after Miguel Rojas plated a run on a two-out RBI single to center, scoring J.T. Realmuto, who reached on a double. Yet Tampa Bay answered with three consecutive hits in the bottom of the seventh, ultimately tacking on another run on Cabrera’s RBI single that scored Longoria from third.
Yet the Marlins weren’t going down without a fight, and Miami cut the lead by a run in the eighth, after Justin Bour grounded into a double play with runners on the corners against Enny Romero.
Then in the ninth inning, Brad Boxberger allowed a two-out run on a single by Dee Gordon (his 198th hit of the year). However, Boxberger got Christian Yelich to ground to first to end the contest and preserve the victory.
The New What Next
Jake Odorizzi (8-9, 3.49) will make his final start of the season, opposite of Jose Fernandez (6-0, 2.91 ERA). Odorizzi has allowed multiple home runs in three of his five September starts, after doing so only twice in his first 22 starts this season. Fernandez, who attended high school in Tampa, is 1-0 with a 3.42 ERA on the road this season. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.
Rays 10/1/15 Starting Lineup
— In spite of his 2015 woes, the much maligned Brad Boxberger became the fifth Rays pitcher to save 40 games in a season — joining Fernando Rodney, Rafael Soriano, Roberto Hernandez, and Danys Baez. Boxberger is now tied for the AL lead in saves with Huston Street of the Angels, who has been shutdown for the remainder of the regular season with a mild groin strain.