MLB Baseball

Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Tampa Bay0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 4 681
Miami0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 4100
  W: A. Kittredge (1-0)   L: A. Bass (0-1)   S: D. Castillo (2)
4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)5:10 PM CT, April 2, 2021
loanDepot park, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 6,115

Rays, Marlins look for increased offense after low-scoring opener

According to STATS
According to STATS

Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins

  1. The Rays have won 10 of their last 11 games against the Marlins and have won five straight in Miami. This is the first time the intrastate rivals will square off on Opening Day.
  2. Tampa Bay won the AL pennant in 2020, its second pennant in franchise history along with 2008. The Rays (40) and Dodgers (43) were the only teams last season to reach 40 wins in the regular season -- the 40-20 (.667) record was Tampa Bay's highest winning percentage in franchise history.
  3. In 2020, Randy Arozarena became the first player to hit 10 home runs in a single postseason. He finished the postseason slugging .831, third highest by an AL player in a single postseason (minimum 40 PA), behind only Rickey Henderson in 1989 (.941) and Paul Molitor in 1993 (.851).
  4. At 31-29, the Marlins had their first season above .500 since 2009 (87-75). It earned them their third postseason appearance in franchise history -- 2020 was their first postseason trip where they did not finish as World Series champions.
  5. Miguel Rojas batted .304 last season, ranking sixth among MLB shortstops (minimum 125 PA). The last Marlins shortstop to hit .300 in a season was Hanley Ramirez in 2010 (.300).
  6. Tyler Glasnow, whose 91 strikeouts last season ranked fourth in the AL, will make his first career Opening Day start. Sandy Alcantara will make his second consecutive Opening Day start -- he allowed one earned run on three hits in 6.2 innings in last year's opener for the Marlins.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/1/2021 thru 4/3/2021

The Miami Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays hitters appear to be behind their pitching counterparts, but Randy Arozarena hopes to do his part to change that scenario on Friday.

Tampa Bay defeated host Miami 1-0 on Thursday as both teams opened their 2021 season. Austin Meadows homered, and Miami came up short on a pair of long drives to the warning track, first by Miguel Rojas and then by Jesus Aguilar.

Arozarena, who slugged 10 homers in 20 playoff games last year, went 1-for-4 with one strikeout on Thursday. He dealt with a minor injury to his left wrist this spring, but he says he feels "pretty much 100 percent" now that the season has started.

"I was very happy with the results I had last year," Arozarena said. "But tomorrow's a new day. That's the only day I'm worried about now."

Besides Arozarena, Tampa Bay's attack features Meadows, who has a textbook lefty swing that allowed him to hit 33 homers in 2019; and Brandon Lowe, who led major league second basemen in extra-base hits last year.

The Rays hitters will face right-hander Pablo Lopez on Friday. Lopez, the only Marlins pitcher to remain in the rotation through last year's entire 60-game schedule, worked on a new breaking pitch this spring.

Last year, he went 6-4 with a 3.61 ERA. But if you disregard one bad performance against the Braves, that ERA drops to 2.54 ERA in 10 starts.

In three career starts against the Rays, Lopez is 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA.

The Marlins hitters will face Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough, who went 1-4 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP in 11 appearances last year, including nine starts. In two career appearances in Miami -- both starts -- Yarbrough, 29, has no record but a 1.86 ERA. And in three career appearances against the Marlins, including one in relief, he is 0-1 with a 2.63 ERA.

Yarbrough's specialty is that he typically induces soft contact.

Because Yarbrough is a lefty, it will be interesting to see if Marlins manager Don Mattingly subs out some of his hitters who bat from that side, including rookie second baseman Jazz Chisholm and left fielder Corey Dickerson.

Mattingly could use Jon Berti at second base and Lewis Brinson in the outfield, as both are right-handed hitters.

Chisholm, a 23-year-old native of the Bahamas, went 0-for-3 on Thursday and still has just 56 major league at-bats. But Chisholm, a shortstop by trade, has tremendous potential due to his speed and the pop in his bat.

In addition, Chisholm is a joyous player with a good deal of charisma. During the spring, when he battled Isan Diaz for the starting job at second, Chisholm sported blond hair. But for Opening Day, Chisholm showed up wearing bright blue hair.

Apparently, Chisholm was living up to a deal he had with Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara, who tossed six scoreless inning on Thursday. If Chisholm made the team, his hair was destined to turn Smurf blue.

Not that Mattingly minds the new look of his young second baseman.

"I like guys with personality, confidence and swagger," Mattingly said. "As long as they prepare properly, I'm good with all that external stuff."

As for his team as a whole, Mattingly is encouraged.

"We feel like we're capable of beating anyone, and that's a good thing," Mattingly said after Miami's Opening Day loss. "I like that belief."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 2, 2021

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