Handed an early 1-0 lead, starting pitcher Elieser Hernández labored through a five-run first inning (although sloppy fielding was to blame for the final two runs in the frame). It would prove to be Miami's night, however, as the Marlins plated four runs in the fifth inning—including a two-RBI single from Isan Díaz—to take the lead. They never looked back, scoring nine unanswered runs prior to Jarlin García's shaky ninth inning.
Starlin Castro collected another two hits to remain red-hot. And don’t look now, but Magneuris Sierra reached base four times in the 10-7 win as he looks to establish himself at the major league level.
Another highlight from the game occurred when 30-year-old reliever Brian Moran made his debut and faced his younger brother Colin—a 2013 Marlins draft pick—in the fourth inning. This marked the first time in history that a player has directly faced his brother in his first major league appearance.
Brian caught Colin looking on a 3-2 slider for the first strikeout of his career, a story which will surely be told over Thanksgiving dinner in the Moran household for years to come.
The Marlins have recalled reliever José Quijada from Triple-A New Orleans, expanding the major league roster to 32 players. It’s the fourth separate MLB stint for the rookie left-hander, who posted a 5.55 ERA over 27 appearances before being sent down on August 26. He reintroduced himself on a high note by striking out three Pirates in a scoreless inning on Thursday.
Although teams are allowed up to 40 active players now that we are in September, Miami's roster will likely grow no further, barring any injuries. The additional roster spots are allowing manager Don Mattingly to experiment with different lineups and match-ups, giving the team a better idea of what pieces they currently have to work with as the attention turns to 2020.
One of those experiments is tasking José Ureña with closing duties for the rest of the season as he continues to work his way back from a herniated disc which sidelined him for a significant portion of the season. So far, it has been a mixed bag for the hard-throwing Dominican, who went 1-for-2 in save opportunities this week in Pittsburgh, with the blown save resulting in a loss after he allowed three runs without recording an out on Wednesday. With a number of more promising arms waiting in the wings, it appears as though Ureña will have to continue to adapt to this new role if he wants to stay with the Marlins next season and beyond.
While Hurricane Dorian only inflicted minor damage in South Florida, residents of the Bahamas were far less fortunate as the Category 5 storm decimated large parts of the country. To help the relief efforts, the Marlins will be collecting essential item donations on the East and West Plazas at Marlins Park throughout the homestand, starting tonight. Additionally, all 50/50 raffle proceeds will benefit the cause, and the Marlins Foundation will match all money raised over the next seven games.
The Marlins return home tonight to kick off a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Separated by mere percentage points in the standings (Miami is 50-89, K.C. is 51-90), this weekend will have significant sway on the final 2020 MLB Draft order. Pablo López (5-7, 4.89 ERA) is slated to throw the first pitch at 7:10 p.m. ET, and he will be facing right-hander Jorge López (2-7, 6.61 ERA).