Charlie Morton and three relievers combined to throw a six-hit shutout, and Avisail Garcia homered and drove in three runs as the Tampa Bay Rays started the 2019 Citrus Series with a 4-0 whitewashing of the Miami Marlins Tuesday at Marlins Park.
The right fielder starting things with a bang Tuesday, leading off the bottom of the second inning against Caleb Smith by crushing a massive home run over the batters eye in center.
Statcast measured the blast at 471 feet, the longest home run hit by an opposing player in Marlins Park history and the longest home run his by a Rays player in the Statcast era (since 2015).
The Rays held on to the one-run advantage until the sixth, when Yandy Diaz singled off Smith (3-1), and after Tommy Pham grounded into a fielder's choice, Robertson's one out walk forced Don Mattingly to go to the bullpen and bring in Nick Anderson. Garcia then laced a base hit to left and Pham, knowing left fielder Harold Ramirez was playing deep, scored from second base to make it 2-0.
Morton (4-0) allowed just three hits, all in the first two innings, while pitching six full frames. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
Former Rays closer Sergio Romo walked four batters in the eighth inning, including Kevin Kiermaier, whose free pass forced in Pham for a 3-0 lead.
Tampa Bay again loaded the bases in the ninth, with two out singles by Diaz and Pham and a walk to Robertson, all off Tyler Kinley. Garcia then beat out an infield hit to score Diaz for his third hit and third RBI of the night.
Emilio Pagan, Diego Castillo, and Chaz Roe each worked a scoreless inning of relief to finish out the game.
The win, coupled with the Yankees getting rained out in the Bronx, means the Rays now lead New York by a full game in the American League East.
Tampa Bay Rays (25-15) at Miami Marlins (10-30), 7:10 pm first pitch, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch.
Rays starter: RHP Ryne Stanek (0-1, 2.57 ERA)
Marlins starter: RHP Jose Urena (1-5, 4.82 ERA)