MIAMI—The Miami Marlins rebound after their shutout loss in the series opener with an 8-4 win Wednesday night over the Boston Red Sox. The club’s magic number to qualify for the MLB postseason is down to 10.
Both teams had left-handed pitchers to start the game. The Marlins had their rookie Trevor Rogers on the mound as the Red Sox gave Mike Kickham his second start of the 2020 season. Kickham is a former Marlins minor leaguer who pitched for them in Double and Triple-A from 2017-2019.
The Boston Red Sox had an eventful top of the first as their leadoff hitter Alex Verdugo got an infield single and Rafael Devers drew a walk to start the game. The Sox weren’t able to get on the scoreboard as Xander Bogaerts flew out to center. J.D. Martinez and Christian Vázquez both struck out but the Marlins starter threw 34 pitches to get out of the first.
After a leadoff fly out, the Marlins started to get things going on offense. Jesús Aguilar laced a single into left field for the first Marlins hit of the night. Brian Anderson struck out looking giving the Red Sox two outs.
However, the Marlins have been hitting well all summer with two outs and broke through against Kickham thanks to a two-run home run to straightaway center by Garrett Cooper giving the Fish an early lead. Cooper’s home run was on a two-strike curveball down and out of the zone. That home run was Cooper’s fourth home run of the season.
Garrett Cooper just FLICKS it over the CF wall for a 2-run homer pic.twitter.com/mJIH8HVeFf— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 16, 2020
In the top of the second, Yairo Muñoz got things going for the Red Sox with another leadoff single. Rogers would get the next three batters out on a strikeout and two ground outs to the shortstop and first baseman.
In the bottom half of the second, Sean Rodríguez recorded his first hit of the season in his first at-bat (with an assist from the official scorer). Rodriguez would later advance to second on a deep fly out to left field Jazz Chisholm. With two down, the Fish couldn’t add to their lead as Monte Harrison struck out swinging on a 3-2 slider.
Rogers put himself in a very familiar position in the top of the third. Verdugo hits a single up the middle giving him his second hit of the night. Rogers then hits Devers with a pitch putting runners on first and second with no outs. Boston would get the scoreboard this time around as Bogaerts grounded out to third putting both runners into scoring position. J.D. Martinez would then hit a sacrifice fly to right scoring Verdugo and advancing Devers to third. After Vázquez walked, Muñoz hit a line drive that struck Rogers in the back. The big lefty was still able to get the out and only allow the one run.
The Marlins were able to get that run back and more in the bottom of the third. Miguel Rojas got the inning started with a double down the left field line. After the Aguilar strikeout, Anderson gets an RBI single hitting a ground ball against the shift scoring Rojas. Cooper would then fly out to right on a sliding catcher giving the Sox two outs.
Lewis Brinson came through a clutch RBI double down the left field line scoring Anderson from first giving the Fish a 4-1 lead. The Marlins weren’t done yet as their catcher Jorge Alfaro smashed a no-doubter two-run blast to right center extending the Marlins lead 6-1. That home run was Alfaro’s second home run of the season.
Kickham was pulled from the game having thrown only 2 2⁄3 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs, no walks and three strikeouts.
Right-handed pitcher Phillips Valdez came in relief for the Red Sox. Valdez would come through as he got Rodriguez to ground out and end the Marlins rally.
Heading into the top of the fourth, Trevor Rogers was pulled from the game. Rogers battled the entire game as he threw three innings allowing three hits, one run, two walks and three strikeouts. Right-hander Josh A. Smith was the new pitcher for the Marlins.
After recording that one out, Valdez was pulled from the game as right-hander Chris Mazza came in the game. Mazza is former Marlins minor league pitcher. The Marlins signed him to a minor league contract in 2015 but released him in May 2018.
Mazza had a solid inning as he got Marlins second baseman Chisholm to strikeout swinging. He did walk Monte Harrison and stole second but got Rojas and Aguilar to fly out to right.
The Red Sox leadoff hitters was definitely seeing the ball well today as he recorded in his third hit of the night with a ground rule double to right center. All of Verdugo’s hits on Wednesday were leadoff hits.
Devers would finally record his first at bat of the night with a RBI double to right. Bogaerts would move Devers to third on a ground out to second. The Sox would not add more as Martinez struck out swinging and Vasquez fouled out to first.
After one inning of work, Mazza was pulled from the game. Mazza walk one but didn’t allow a hit or run. Right-hander Robinson Leyer came in relief for the Red Sox.
The Marlins offense would add to their lead in the bottom of the fifth thanks to another two-run home run by their catcher Jorge Alfaro giving them an 8-2 lead. That was Alfaro’s third home run of the season and the third game in his career with multi-homers.
Heading into the top of the sixth, the Fish pulled Josh A. Smith from the game. Smith pitched two inning allowing two hits, one run, no walks and two strikeouts. Smith was replaced by relief pitcher Nick Vincent.
Vincent got into some trouble early in the inning as Yairo Muñoz ripped a single into left for his second hit of the game. He got Bobby Dalbec and Michael Chavis to strike out but Christian Arroyo doubled to right and Vincent walked Verdugo to load the bases for Devers. Vincent would come through as he got the All-Star third baseman to strike out swinging on an elevated fastball ending the threat and top of the sixth.
Nick Vincent, August: 4 K in 12.1 IP— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 17, 2020
Nick Vincent, September: 11 K in 6.1 IP
After Leyer’s one inning of work, Boston went back to their bullpen. Robinson Leyer didn’t have a great outing as he allowed two runs on one hit and walk. Right-handed pitcher Domingo Tapia came in the ballgame for the Red Sox.
After striking out Chisholm, Tapia had to battle after Harrison reached on an infield single and Rojas drew a walk. Tapia got out it as he got Aguilar to fly out to left and Anderson to ground out to third.
Going into the top of the seventh, Vincent was pulled from the game. Vincent threw one inning allowing two hits, no runs, one walk and three strikeouts. Right-handed pitcher Ryne Stanek came in the game for the Fish.
Stanek got himself into some trouble quickly as Bogaerts reached first on an infield single and Martinez hit his fifth home run of the season to right field making it an 8-4 ballgame.
Stanek would record the next two outs before walking Dalbec on four straight pitches. Marlins skipper had enough and pulled the hard-throwing righty from the game. Stanek only threw 2⁄3 innings allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Relief pitcher Brad Boxberger came in relief for the Marlins.
The Marlins took out their catcher Alfaro as he might have been shaken up after taking a foul ball to the mask earlier in the inning. Alfaro was replaced by backup catcher Chad Wallach. Fortunately, the team announced after the game that Alfaro avoided a concussion.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh, Tapia was pulled from the game. The flamethrower pitched one inning allowing one hit, no runs, one walk and a strikeout. Tapia was replaced by right-hander Robert Stock, who retired the Fish 1-2-3.
Right-handed pitcher Yimi Garcia followed Boxberger in relief. García continues to dominate as he struck out two and got Devers to foul out to the catcher. One of the strikeouts was to Alex Verdugo who was previously 3-for-3 with three hits and a walk.
Brandon Kintzler got the job done in the ninth.
FLIP THE M!! #Marlins even the series with Boston as they win 8-4. Alfaro goes deep twice as he’s hopefully okay after the foul ball straight to the mask. COOPA LOOPA also goes deep with his 4th HR of the year. Going for the series win mañana #JuntosMiami pic.twitter.com/iQL7P7nV2R— Hector Rodriguez (@Hector_Baseball) September 17, 2020
García earns the win, his second of the season. Kickham gets the loss and he’s now 1-1 on the season.
The series finale between the Miami Marlins and the Boston Red Sox is Thursday afternoon. The Marlins will have right-handed pitcher José Ureña on the mound. Former Marlin and right-handed pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will get the start for the Boston Red Sox. First pitch is at 1:10 pm ET.