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Marlins explode for 5 runs in 9th, sweep Tigers

Always remember, folks: baseball is a game played for nine innings, not eight. Down to their final out, Garrett Cooper’s grand slam flipped everything around for the Fish.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

After being shutout for eight innings of play, the Marlins—down 2-0 on the scoreboard—exploded for five runs, including a two-out, grand slam from Garrett Cooper off Tigers closer Shane Greene, stunning the Detroit Tigers Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park, 5-2. Miami has now won six consecutive games for the first time this season.

Miami’s offense was quiet for the most part Thursday. Tigers starter Matthew Boyd pitched six shutout innings, striking out seven batters on 102 pitches. Trevor Richards was solid as well, allowing just one run on eight hits in 5 23 innings of work, throwing 91 pitches.

The contest remained scoreless up until the bottom of the sixth. Detroit’s Ronny Rodríguez, with the bases loaded and one out, produced a sacrifice fly to left, bringing home Niko Goodrum. In the eighth, Miguel Cabrera produced a crucial RBI single to right, increasing the Tigers’ lead to 2-0. Miggy continues to haunt his former team in their rare interleague matchups.

It looked as if the Tigers would hold onto their lead in the ninth, but Greene and the defense choked it away. Harold Ramírez reached on a fielding error, Neil Walker singled to right, Jorge Alfaro walked and Curtis Granderson was walked intentionally.

Miami had left men on base numerous times in previous innings. Garrett Cooper would not allow them to botch another golden opportunity:

Cooper became the first Marlins player with a two-out, go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning or later since Giancarlo Stanton more than seven years ago.

The Marlins have now swept back-to-back series for the first time since 2012 (Giants and Padres).

Riding a six-game winning mark, Miami will open a four-game slate against the struggling Washington Nationals on Friday night. Pablo López will take the bump, opposed by Kyle McGowin. You can argue López’s previous trip to the mound was his career-best, tossing seven scoreless, one-hit innings versus the New York Mets this past Saturday afternoon. McGowin will make his second career start.

Marlins vs. Tigers box score (Baseball Theater)

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