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Huge 2nd-inning rally puts Marlins ahead for good

The Marlins continued their excellent all-around play. They’ve now won five of their last six games.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Miami Marlins
Miguel Rojas continues to ignite the Marlins offense, homering for the third straight game.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Making hard contact to all fields (and catching a few breaks), the Marlins racked up six runs in the second inning on Monday night, practically leading the Diamondbacks from wire to wire in an 11-6 victory. Left-hander Caleb Smith, who contributed two hits of his own, is still undefeated in five starts since returning from the injured list.

  • Caleb Smith: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR on 106 pitches
  • Merrill Kelly: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR on 94 pitches

Since signing with the Dbacks this past offseason, Merrill Kelly has struggled mightily on the road. This game was more of the same, although the final line was inflated by poor fielding.

Curtis Granderson put the Fish ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second when his line drive single deflected off of Kelly’s glove and into center field, scoring Neil Walker. Harold Ramirez made it 2-0 with another single. The floodgates opened, however, on a predictable bunt attempt by Smith. Kelly fired it wildly to first base, allowing Smith to hustle all the way to third and two more Marlins to come home. Then, for the third straight day, Miguel Rojas muscled up and homered to left field.

Perhaps a bit winded from his offensive activity, Smith allowed the 6-0 advantage to be trimmed to 6-3 on a home run by Ketel Marte. That fastball caught way too much of the plate.

Arizona even brought the tying run to the plate in the fourth inning.

Smith settled down from there, though. He ultimately ate up seven innings, marking the first time in his major league career that he’s done so in consecutive starts.

Brian Anderson mashed his team-leading 15th home run to make it 7-4. Later, Walker and Garrett Cooper provided more insurance with unconventional swings against Greg Holland (RBI double and RBI single, respectively).

As the Marlins tinker with their bullpen hierarchy in the aftermath of the Sergio Romo trade, Adam Conley and Tayron Guerrero entered in relief. They allowed three baserunners apiece before Nick Anderson ultimately shut the door.

Improving to 41-63 on the season, the Marlins are now on pace to finish with a slightly better record than they did in 2018. Progress!

Beginning Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m., the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins come to town. Probable starters for the series opener are right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Zac Gallen.

Diamondbacks vs. Marlins box score (Baseball Theater)

Fish Picks answer key

  1. Marlins
  2. Over
  3. Over
  4. Yes
  5. Marlins