“Just relax,” Ozzie Guillen told the struggling Marlins ballclub before Saturday night’s contest versus Cincinnati. And the Marlins offense did just that, not trying to do too much, but doing a lot in the process.
Facing Matt Latos, and backed by a reliable Ricky Nolasco, Miami cracked 12 hits, while scoring 8 runs, and jacking 3 longballs. Last season, Hanley Ramirez hit just 10 home runs in an injury-plaugued campaign. But Ramirez showed the power he lacked last year by drilling a two-run homer to centerfield in the top of the seventh.
John Buck homered just 16 times in a down year last season, but he unloaded on a two-run bomb in the eighth to build on Miami’s lead. Omar Infante tied the game at 2 in the fifth with a solo shot.
Infante homered just 7 times last year, but certainly showed much pop tonight. He finished his three-hit night a single shy of the cycle, scoring two runs with his RBI.
Giancarlo Stanton is not seeing many fastballs due to the inordinate power he unleashes on straight pitches. But doing what he can with the off-speed and breaking balls, he drove in three runs on three hits, including a two-run single in the fifth to put the Fish up.
Nolasco was efficient on the mound, as he squandered 6 hits in 8 full, allowing three runs while striking out five on 101 pitches. He recorded the Marlins’ first win of 2012. Miami is now 1-2, but remember, don’t panic if the Marlins are under .500 in April, check back in September.