The Marlins (43-51) kicked off their six-game road trip with a solid 3-1 win over the Reds (40-56). The two teams had to wait out a one hour and 45 minute rain delay before starting the game. Makes you appreciate the roof in Miami a little bit more, eh?
What’s better than one first inning run? How about two! Dee Gordon led off the game with a single, as he tends to do. The red-hot Giancarlo Stanton decided to play nice and settle for a double to left field. Second and third, nobody out; a pretty good way to start a game. Gordon scored on a Christian Yelich groundout to the right side and Stanton scored on a wild pitch. Two quick runs for the Fish.
Coming off his worst start of the season, Jose Urena (W, 8-4) returned to form with a very solid performance. He allowed only one run on the evening to help pick up an offense that wasted many opportunities.
That sole run for the Reds was scored in the bottom of the third. Ureña hit Scott Schebler and allowed a single to Tucker Barnhart to start the frame. Homer Bailey (L, 2-4) did his job by bunting the runners over. Billy Hamilton then hit a sac-fly to right field to bring home Schebler.
The only other jam Ureña got himself into occurred in the fourth inning. After retiring Joey Votto and Adam Duvall to start the inning, three batters got on base to load the bases. Scooter Gennett drew a four-pitch walk, Eugenio Suarez reached on an infield single, and Schebler once again was hit by a pitch. Ureña got Tucker Barnhart to line out to right field to end the threat. Disaster avoided.
The Marlins added an important insurance run in the seventh inning. Miguel Rojas singled on the first pitch of the inning, moved over to third base due to a throwing error by Gennett, and scored the third run for the Marlins on a Yelich single to shallow left. That gave them a little more breathing room.
Ureña retired the side in order in both the fifth and sixth innings. His night came to a close after allowing the first two batters to reach in the seventh. Zack Cozart smacked a single and Schebler reached base for the third time on a walk. The final line for Ureña: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (90 Pitches, 53 Strikes). All in all, a good job by the young right-handed pitcher.
Junichi Tazawa entered the game looking to put out the fire. After Barnhart bunted both runners into scoring position, Tazawa complicated things by walking Devin Mesoraco on six pitches. All of a sudden, the go-ahead run was on first base. The next batter was the speedy Hamilton, who hit a groundball to Gordon who threw home for the force. A heads up play by the Marlins second basemen. After getting behind in the count 2-0 to Cozart, Tazawa induced an inning ending fly out to center. That was a close one.
Kyle Barraclough struck out two in a strong eighth inning and A.J. Ramos induced three groundball outs to collect his 18th save. It’s only a matter of time until Ramos is traded, so you never know which of these outings will be his last in a Marlins uniform.
The Marlins had ten hits on the evening but could only score three runs. Most nights that won’t cut it. Justin Bour and Rojas were the only batters with two hits. The rest of the hits came from Gordon, Stanton, Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, J.T. Realmuto, and Ureña(!).
Here is the Fangraphs win expectancy graph.
The Marlins and Reds will meet for game two of the series today. It will be Chris O’Grady taking on Robert Stephenson at 7:10 pm ET.