MLB Baseball

7
Final 1 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   R H E
Tampa Bay0 2 0 0 4 0 0 1 0 791
Miami1 1 1 1 2 0 3 3 x 12142
12
  W: R. Bleier (1-0)   L: C. Archer (0-1)
3:10 PM PT4:10 PM MT5:10 PM CT6:10 PM ET18:10 ET22:10 GMT6:10 3:10 PM MST5:10 PM EST5:40 PM VEN2:10 UAE (+1)4:10 PM CT, April 3, 2021
loanDepot park, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 6,179

Rays shoot for sweep of Marlins behind veteran LHP Rich Hill

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

It may be hard to believe, but this is the 17th major league season for Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Rich Hill.

Hill, 41, is set to make his Rays debut on Saturday, when Tampa Bay visits the Miami Marlins to close a season-opening three-game series. The Rays will be going for a sweep after winning 1-0 on Thursday and 6-4 on Friday.

In spring training, Hill strived to find the consistency of his arm path. He worked to execute his pitches in precise locations, and his fastball showed increased velocity this spring.

However ...

"Once you get into (regular-season games), it's a different feel," Hill said. "It's a different adrenaline."

Hill hasn't faced the Marlins since 2017, when he went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in one start. For his career, he is 2-1 with a 4.67 ERA in four appearances (three starts) against Miami.

The Rays reportedly are ready to use Chris Archer behind Hill on Saturday. Archer, a 32-year-old right-hander, did not pitch last year but went 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA in 2019 with the Pirates. This will be Archer's second stint with the Rays, the organization that gave him his major league debut in 2012.

Archer, who made the All-Star Game twice (2015, 2017) while pitching for Tampa Bay, is 1-1 with a 3.19 ERA in five career appearances against the Marlins. However, in his three most recent starts against Miami, Archer allowed 10 earned runs in 17 innings.

Tampa Bay's offense has scored a total of seven runs in getting off to a 2-0 start. Six of those runs came on homers: two solo shots by Austin Meadows, one solo dinger by Manuel Margot and the three-run bomb by Joey Wendle that essentially won Friday's game.

Meanwhile, the Marlins are off to a winless start after a brilliant exhibition season. The Marlins had the best spring training record in the majors this year at 14-5-5.

The good news for the Marlins is that their starting pitchers threw a total of 11 scoreless innings the past two days. In spring training, Marlins starting pitchers combined for a 9-0 record.

In addition, Marlins center fielder Starling Marte hit .341 in spring training, and, after an 0-for-4 performance on Thursday that included four strikeouts, he went 3-for-5 on Friday.

On Saturday, the Marlins are set to start right-hander Elieser Hernandez, who turns 26 next month. After producing a 5-plus ERA in his first two years in the majors, Hernandez seemed to have a breakthrough last season, when he went 1-0 with a 3.16 ERA in six starts.

That's a small sample size for Hernandez, whose 2020 season was cut short by an arm injury.

As for the Marlins' hitters, they finally broke through in the seventh inning Friday, snapping a scoreless drought that had lasted for 15 straight frames to start the season.

Rookie second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. got the rally started with a two-out triple.

Chisholm is the first Bahamian-born player to start on Opening Day since Tony Curry with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961.

"Jazz plays with a lot of energy," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He's exciting to watch. Hold on (because) Jazz has just started his thing."

While Miami's offense finally got rolling late on Friday, the Marlins' bullpen sprung a leak, allowing six runs in four innings.

Mattingly, though, is not concerned.

"All of that is going to get cleaned up," Mattingly said. "We know what these guys can do, and we're going to be fine."

--Field Level Media

Updated April 3, 2021

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