The second week of the season was a rough one for Miami. And after starting the year 5-1, the Fish lost 9 of their next 10. But the team turned the jets on when Seattle came to town for a weekend series.
The Marlins and Mariners–the two teams with the most similar nicknames yet farthest geographical distance apart–duked it out on Friday night. Nathan Eovaldi held Seattle to three runs over six innings, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a 430-foot home run deep into the upper deck in right field. With the game tied at four and bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Giancarlo Stanton unloaded on a grand slam, which landed by the flagpoles in left-center field. It was Stanton’s second career walk-off grand slam, and third career walk-off homer.
Henderson Alvarez was the story of Saturday night. He took a perfect game into the top of the sixth inning, and only allowed two hits in a complete game shutout. It took him only 90 pitches to polish off the Mariners. Marcell Ozuna led Miami offensively with two hits, four RBI, and his third home run of the season, which splash-landed in the pool at The Clevelander. The Fish won 7-0.
On a gorgeous Easter Sunday, the roof at Marlins Park was open under clear, 80-degree skies. It marked the first time in the Park’s history the roof had been open for a day game. The Mariners took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of sacrifice flies. The Marlins did not tally a hit until the fifth inning, when Garrett Jones singled. But a walk and a Donovan Solano single later, Miami had cut Seattle’s lead in half.
All the fun occurred in the bottom of the eighth when Christian Yelich smoked a double into left field, extending his career-best hit streak to 14 games. After Ozuna flew out, the Mariners elected to intentionally walk Stanton to set up the double play. But Casey McGehee drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Garrett Jones stepped up to the dish and grounded to the first baseman, who fired home for the force–an out as called on the field. But manager Mike Redmond came out to challenge the decision, and it turned out that Yelich’s foot got in before the throw.
Replay inside stadium shows Yelich was safe with tying run, and crowd erupts.
— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) April 20, 2014
He was ruled safe after review and the Marlins had the tied the game at two. With the bases still loaded and one out, Adeiny Hechavarria skied a ball to right, deep enough to score Stanton. With a little bit of small ball, the Fish had their first lead of the day.
Steve Cishek entered to pitch the top of the ninth, and escaped a jam by striking out the final two batters with runners on the corners. It was Cishek’s third save of the year, and his 32nd consecutive converted save opportunity.
Miami’s sweep of Seattle moves them to 9-10 on the year. The Marlins start a six-game road trip tomorrow in Atlanta, and they will travel to New York later in the week. I will be at Turner Field tomorrow to see the first game against the Braves. Tom Koehler is set to pitch against Julio Tehran.