The Marlins like yesterday did not have any players with a multi-hit game tonight. They eked out a total of four hits in Saturday’s game. Mix that with a six-run seventh inning for the Royals and you have a loss. Caleb Smith pitched great, striking out eight over six innings of work.
Caleb Smith: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
Danny Duffy: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K
The Marlins were able to score first and they did this by letting Duffy be wild. Jorge Alfaro got the only hit of the second inning, which was a single. The Fish followed this up with an Austin Dean and Lewis Brinson walk.
With two outs and the bases loaded Caleb Smith was going to have to get it done himself. He did this by barley getting touched in the elbow with a pitch from Duffy (Derek Dietrich style). The RBI for Smith was the only run scored that inning, as Jon Berti made the final out with the bases loaded.
Smith would flirt with trouble a couple times, but otherwise he cruised through his start. The Royals were never able to tag him for any runs before he was taken out. The Marlins offense also did not do much during those innings, either.
Adam Conley replaced Smith in the seventh and that is when the trouble started. The seventh inning started off simple enough—a single to Bubba Starling. Conley then struggled to get any of the three batters he faced out. This included a seven-pitch walk to Cheslor Cuthbert and a single to Whit Merrifield. The single also scored a run due to Dean’s error retrieving the ball. That was the end for Conley.
Ryne Stanek was brought in to limit the damage for the Fish, but...that did not happen. He started off well enough by striking out Adalberto Mondesi. What followed for Stanek was a wild pitch, an intentional walk, a single, a walk, and a double. Six runs in total for the inning and the Fish had to bring in another reliever. Brian Moran got the last two outs of the inning, finishing it off with a Bubba Starling fly out.
The Fish were able to score one more run, but that was it. Garrett Cooper doubled in the eighth, followed by an Alfaro walk. Harold Ramirez singled home Cooper to make it 7-2. The Royals tagged on one more run in the ninth off of Héctor Noesí.
There were a total of three errors in the game by the Fish. This obviously did not help their depleted offensive cause. Sandy Alcántara will try to avoid the sweep when he faces Mike Montgomery Sunday at 1:10 ET.
Marlins vs Royals box score (MLB.com)
Fish Picks answer key