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Galvis, Reds spoil Pablo López’s return from injured list

Playing in front of their smallest crowd of the season, the Marlins were held to five hits, and only one with runners in scoring position.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Miami Marlins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A Reds offense fueled primarily by Freddy Galvis overpowered the Marlins to beat the home team in the series opener Monday night, 6-3.

Sonny Gray: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 1 HR (102 pitches)

Pablo López: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR (86 pitches)

First and foremost, the Marlins were concerned with getting Pablo López back healthy from a right shoulder strain. In his first MLB outing since June 15, the quality of his stuff was certainly encouraging. The 23-year-old averaged 94.1 miles per hour on his four-seam fastball—slightly above his season average—and executed several changeups as putaway pitches.

In the midst of a career year for the Reds, utility man Derek Dietrich finally got a taste of Marlins Park as a visiting player. How appropriate that Miami’s all time leader in hit by pitches “took one for the team” in his first plate appearance.

López fell behind on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning. Josh VanMeter tripled with one out and hustled home on a Freddy Galvis fielder’s choice.

Minutes later, the Marlins responded. Jon Berti drew a leadoff walk against Sonny Gray. Then, Neil Walker barreled an inside fastball, getting just enough carry on it to leave the yard.

It was Walker’s first home run since June 29, ending one of the longest droughts of his major league career.

Clinging to a 2-1 lead, López found himself in a fifth-inning jam with two runners on and only one out. A mound visit from pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. did not have the intended result—Galvis flipped the game around with a three-run shot to left-center on the very next pitch.

It was a night off for most of the Marlins relievers as Adam Conley and Kyle Keller shouldered two innings apiece to finish the game. This was also Keller’s Marlins Park debut (second career appearance overall).

With Cincinnati comfortably up 6-2 in the bottom of the ninth, the Marlins continued to battle. Jorge Alfaro added to his career high with home run No. 13 to right field. Also, Lewis Brinson tripled for the first time in 2019.

Too bad hardly anybody was there to see it. With a mediocre, Midwest opponent coming in on a school night and nothing in the way of special promotions, the Marlins had their lowest announced attendance of the season (5,297).

Tuesday’s game presents another huge challenge for the Marlins offense as Luis Castillo makes his fourth career start against his former franchise. Their previous matchups have been laughably one-sided—Castillo has posted a 0.39 ERA and .133 BAA in 23.1 IP. Miami’s probably starter is Caleb Smith. First pitch at 7:10 p.m.

Reds vs. Marlins box score (Baseball Theater)

Fish Picks answer key

  1. Gray
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  5. Reds