Closer Kyle Barraclough has been exceptional for the Marlins in the last two months, so the novelty of him giving up a run -- even in a Miami win -- is major news.
"Claw will bounce back, no worries about that," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after he gave up the tying run in the ninth, ultimately earning the victory in a 2-1 win in a series opener against the Rays.
Barraclough had not allowed a run since May 8 -- an amazing run of 21 games and 20 2/3 innings with just two hits allowed before Monday, when the Rays matched that with two hits and the tying run. His season ERA had dipped below 1.00 to 0.99 ERA before that run scored.
"To be able to scratch runs and get pitching, it's nice to be able to get that win in the end," Mattingly said of his Marlins (35-51), who have won three of four games.
The Marlins will try to continue that Tuesday with rookie right-hander Trevor Richards (2-5, 5.06 ERA) on the mound. Richards lasted only four innings in his last outing, giving up six hits and three runs to Arizona, but he has two wins in his last four starts, this after having zero wins in his first six starts of the season.
Richards has never faced the Rays, but his limited work in interleague play has been rough -- eight hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Red Sox in April, then nine hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings against Baltimore in June. His interleague record is 0-2 and his ERA is 12.91, with a staggering 17 hits in 7 2/3 innings.
The Rays answer with another rookie who hasn't faced this team before -- Ryne Stanek, spectacular as an "opener" with short outings to open games throughout the month of June, was supposed to start Tuesday but instead got the nod in the 10th inning Monday, surrendering a leadoff walk that quickly became the winning run off an infield single.
Ryan Yarbrough (7-4, 3.76 ERA) has pitched well coming in after the "opener," but he'll get the start now against the Marlins. Much like Richards, he's struggled in interleague play, going 0-2 with a 6.60 ERA, allowing 19 hits in 15 innings. His last outing wasn't bad at all, lasting 6 1/3 innings in relief, giving up seven hits but only one run in a 1-0 loss to Houston on Thursday. He'll likely get a rare chance to bat as well with the game in a National League park -- he's just 0-for-2 at the plate in his young career.
One-run games have been a major part of the Rays' season -- they've played in 37, matching the most in the majors, and they've lost 21, the most of any team, but Rays manager Kevin Cash said he was optimistic even when his team was down 2-1 in the ninth on Monday. The Rays had won eight of nine coming in and will try to bounce back Tuesday.
"The way we've been playing, we've been getting the big hit," Cash said. "I think it was going to work out the entire game."