The Marlins kicked off their, ahem, home series against the Mets in San Juan Puerto Rico Monday night with Ricky Nolasco on the hill against R.A. Dickey. Despite being a plane ride away from Sun Life Stadium, Puerto Rico did its very best to make the Fish feel right at home, providing blazing hot weather, rain storms before the game, and more Mets fans in the seats than Marlins.
Ah, the comforts of home.
The Fish jumped to an early lead in the bottom of the first when when Chris Coghlan walked, stole second, and scored when Hanley reached base on an error by Jose Reyes, but Jason Bay tied it up when he hit the first home run of the series in the second inning. Of course, the home run would have been a routine fly out at Citi Field or Sun Life Stadium, but its modest dimensions are one of the many...charms of Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
In the bottom of the third, Ricky Nolasco hit a ground rule double, Chris Coghlan singled, and Gaby Sanchez drove them both in with a double. Hanley followed with an RBI double of his own, and Cody Ross singled to drive in the Marlins fifth run of the game.
It was also Cody Ross who would put up the Marlins sixth run, when he hit a solo shot in the bottom of the sixth off of reliever Fernando Nieve.
Ricky Nolasco would last seven innings against the Mets, allowing only four hits and striking out nine. Unfortunately, with two out in the top of the seventh, Jason Bay hit another not-so-long ball, a two-run shot that made it 6-3 before the Marlins bullpen took over.
In the bottom of the seventh, Chris Coghlan got a run back for the Fish when he joined the home run derby and hit a solo shot to put the Marlins up 7-3.
Brian Sanches got back on the horse after failing to hold the score in Sunday's series finale with the Padres, and Chief pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out Jose Reyes to end the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth, the short ball struck yet again as Mike Stanton hit a three-run would've-been-an-out-in-any-MLB-stadium-in-existance to put the Marlins up 10-3.
The score would hold as Jose Veras pitched a scoreless ninth inning, and the Marlins, along with the first Puerto Rican-born skipper in Major League baseball, took game one of the series in San Juan.