Robertson hits slam in 9th, Rays beat Marlins 6-4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Robertson was slumping at the plate and out of the starting lineup.
One big swing off the bench made him feel a lot better.
Robertson connected for a game-ending grand slam, lifting the Tampa Bay Rays to a 6-4 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
"He made us look pretty smart," manager Kevin Cash said.
Robertson drove a 1-0 pitch from Kyle Barraclough (0-4) into the left-field seats. Robertson's two-out shot was his eighth homer and came on the closer's 40th pitch of the inning.
It was Tampa Bay's first game-ending slam and stopped an 8-for-45 slide for the infielder.
"It's pretty cool to hear," Robertson said. "That's baseball, it's up and down."
Robertson traded an autographed baseball and a bat to get the ball back from a fan.
The 28-year-old Barraclough allowed three straight hits, including Ji-Man Choi's RBI single, to start the ninth. Carlos Gomez struck out and speedy Mallex Smith bounced into a forceout, but Willy Adames walked on a 3-2 pitch before Robertson was sent to the plate to hit for Adam Moore.
After a meeting, the umpires opted not to use a video review for pinch-runner Hunter Wood's slide into second on Smith's grounder to see if it violated the rules.
"It was an illegal slide," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He went past the base. In their judgment we weren't trying to turn a double play. If he comes up throwing, they could have called it, or at least go to replay."
Adam Kolarek (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for his second major league win.
Tampa Bay had ninth-inning rallies fall short twice in the series, scoring four times in Friday's 6-5 defeat and once Saturday in a 3-2 loss.
It was Barraclough's fourth blown save in 14 chances.
"You get behind in bad counts and they're sitting dead-red on fastballs, that was kind of my day," Barraclough said.
Miguel Rojas drove in two runs for the Marlins, who were trying for their first three-game series sweep. Trevor Richards allowed one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer struck out 13 in six innings. But he allowed four runs, three earned, and eight hits in front of scouts from several playoff contenders.
Archer, who made his third start since returning from a left abdominal strain, is one of several Tampa Bay veterans that could be moved before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
"It did cross my mind after the outing," Archer said. "I don't want to think about it too much because dwelling on something that hasn't happened yet is not smart."
Teams represented Sunday included the New York Yankees (two scouts), Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona, Atlanta and Cleveland. Nathan Eovaldi's start Friday was also well attended by scouts.
Rojas keyed Miami's four-run second with a two-run double. Bryan Holaday added an RBI single.
Marlins center fielder Cameron Maybin was ejected by plate umpire Andy Fletcher in the fourth for arguing a called third strike.
Miami's Derek Dietrich and J.T. Realmuto both struck out four times.
Marlins: RHP Tayron Guerrero (left lumbar strain) worked a scoreless inning Saturday for Double-A Jacksonville and will have another outing Tuesday. ... RHP Sandy Alcantara (infection) will go three innings or 45 pitches with Class A Jupiter on Monday.
Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (right foot bone bruise) will have his status updated Monday. ... A decision on whether reliever Jonny Venters (strained right hamstring) will make a second rehab appearance before returning has not been made.
The Rays recalled Adames from Triple-A Durham to provide infield depth after shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria hurt his left oblique Saturday. The Rays are hopeful Hechavarria will return within a few days. To make room on the roster, outfielder Justin Williams was optioned to Durham one day after making his big league debut as a pinch hitter.
Rays two-way prospect Brendan McKay is scheduled for his first mound appearance Monday night for Class A Charlotte since missing a month with an oblique injury. The left-hander made two starts, totaling six innings, during a rehab assignment with the rookie-level GCL Rays.
Marlins: RHP Jose Urena (2-9) will face Atlanta LHP Sean Newcomb (8-5) on Monday night.
Rays: Wood (0-0) will start a bullpen day Monday night against Yankees ace Luis Severino (14-2).