The Marlins once again found themselves up against the vaunted Padres pitching staff. This time the meeting took place in the hazy, spacious confines of San Diego. While the Fish were only able to eek out 5 hits, they made those 5 measly hits count and took the first game of the series.
Let's see how they did it.
In the first, the Marlins went down in order against Padres starter Wade LeBlanc, but the Padres did not return the favor in kind. To start off their half of the inning Jerry Hairston singled on the fifth pitch by Marlins starter Chris Volstad. Then with two outs Miguel Tejada walked in his Padres debut. With runners on first and second Chase Headley laced to single to right to score Hairston. Then the play got really interesting. Mike Stanton threw the ball in to Gaby Sanchez when Headley broke from first to go to second. The Marlins got Headley in run down and Tejada decided to make a break for home. Hanley threw the ball to Ronny Paulino to get Tejada in a run down which successfully ended in the final out of the inning. So basically, it was your standard 9-3-6-2-5-1 put out. 1-0 Padres.
In the third, the Marlins finally got on the board. Wes Helms walked to start the inning. Paulino singled Helms to second. Volstad followed with a sacrifice bunt to third to move the runners up. So with one out and Marlins on second and third, Hanley Ramirez hit a sac fly to left to drive in Helms. Logan Morrison was next in the order and single to center to score Paulino to give the Marlins the lead. The Fish would never relinquish it. Volstad started finding a grove and retired the Padres in order. 2-1 Marlins.
In the fourth the Marlins added to the lead when Cody Ross hit the first pitch he saw into the left field bleachers. In the bottom half of the inning the Padres tried to make some noise by putting runners on the corners with two outs. No problem. Volstad threw a sinker to Will Venable who grounded out to Dan Uggla to end the inning. 3-1 Marlins.
Both teams went down in order in the fifth, but the sixth would be a different matter. In the Marlins half of the inning, with one out, Gaby hit a towering shot to left that I think landed in the second deck. Danny followed with a walk. With two outs Danny was caught stealing to end the top half of the inning. The Padres would answer back in the bottom half of the sixth. Chris Denorfia led off with a triple and Adrian Gonzalez followed with a single to drive in a run. That would end Volstad's night. Enter Burke Badenhop. The Hopper retired Tejada on a ground out, got Headly to ground into a fielders choice and struck out Yorvit Torrealba. 4-2 Marlins.
The Marlins bullpen continued on from there and the Padres were never able to mount a serious challenge. The game ended with the score Marlins 4, Padres 2.
The Marlins didn't have a lot of success hitting against the Padres pitching, but what success they did have, they made it count. All-in-all it was a good way to the start the series.
Same two teams play on Saturday. But probably, the game won't last through the midnight hour, though there is no guarantee.