ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 02: Hanley Ramirez #2 of the Florida Marlins crosses homeplate after hitting a grand slam in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 2, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Don't look now, but the Florida Marlins have won three of their last four ball games.
Probably not much of a coincidence is the fact that the Fish started to heat up right around the time Hanley Ramirez did the same. Since moving to the cleanup spot, Hanley is hitting at a .385 clip, and over the last four games, he batted .466, going 7-for-15 with three home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored.
Hanley's two home runs, including a grand slam in the first inning, helped power the Marlins to a 9-5 victory over the Rangers Saturday night in Arlington.
Derek Holland lasted just 2/3 of an inning against the Marlins, who put five runs on the board in the first. Emilio Bonifacio worked a walk to lead off the game before Omar Infante and Gaby Sanchez hit back-to-back singles to load the bases. Hanley was up next, and hit a grand slam that just cleared the wall in right field, to give the Fish a 4-0 lead. The Marlins weren't done with Holland yet, however. After the starter recorded two outs, John Buck worked a walk and Wes Helms doubled to drive him in and make it 5-0.
Tommy Hunter replaced Holland and got the final out of the first, but the Fish scored again in the second. Boni reached on a throwing error by Yorvit Torrealba, stole second base, and moved to third on another error by Torrealba. Gaby Sanchez's sac fly to center field scored Boni and gave rookie starter Brad Hand a 6-0 lead to work with.
After Hand walked two with one out in the fourth, Jack McKeon had seen enough. He pulled the starter for Steve Cishek, who struck out two to end the inning.
Jack displayed some of that "tough love" he's so fond of--which looks a lot tougher than it does loving--when Cishek walked two in the bottom of the fourth. McKeon gave him a stern talking-to on the mound, and Cishek responded by sitting down the next five batters he faced. In the fifth, however, Steve ran into some trouble. He walked Elvis Andrus before Hamilton went deep for the second time in the game, bringing the Rangers within two runs, and reminding the Marlins that with Texas, no lead is safe.
The Fish loaded the bases against Darren O'Day with one out in the sixth, and plated one run on an Infante sac fly. The Rangers answered right back in the bottom of the inning, however, scoring a run when Hanley failed to catch a routine pop fly that would have ended the inning.
Hanley made up for his error in the seventh, when he went deep for the second time in the game. Logan Morrison followed with his own solo home run, and the Marlins had a 9-5 lead.