MIAMI, FL—After a slight offensive surge in the tail end of Friday’s loss, the Marlins entered Game 3 of the 2021 season hoping build off the momentum of the 4 runs scored in the game’s final three innings.
Miami would most certainly do that and more, putting up a dozen runs on the strength of 14 hits in what would turn out to be a 12-7 victory, their first ‘dub’ of 2021. The team would score at least one run in every inning except the 6th.
Right off the bat - pun intended - the team got to 41-year old veteran Rich Hill, coaxing out a run in the bottom of the 1st thanks to shortstop Miguel Rojas who worked a 10 pitch walk and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of first baseman Jesús Aguilar. Rojas and center fielder Starling Marte, who singled following Rojas, pulled-off a double steal to set up the score.
Hill, who made his big league debut against Miami in 2005 while a member of the Chicago Cubs, threw 71 pitches over 4 innings in what Rays manager Kevin Cash predetermined to be a co-op with Chris Archer.
In his first appearance with the Rays since July 27, 2018, Archer would allow 2 runs (1 earned) over 2-plus innings of work, throwing 52 pitches and earning the loss.
Catcher Mike Zunino two-run homer off of Elieser Hernández snapped a 12.2 scoreless inning streak by Marlins’ starters to open the season. Hernández would leave in the bottom of the 3rd with what initially appeared to be a blister issue, but was later deemed by the club to be right biceps inflammation.
“Our starting pitching depth is going to be tested right away,” said manager Don Mattingly.
The organization recently received news regarding their top pitching prospect, Sixto Sánchez, who has been dealing right-shoulder inflammation.
Paul Campbell, a Rule 5 pick by Miami out of Tampa in the offseason, came in relief for the injured Hernández, allowing 3 runs, two of which scored after exiting the ballgame, in 2 innings pitched.
Miami would answer back in the second thanks to a Chad Wallach single that scored Jon Berti, who got the start tonight at third base for Brian Anderson. Berti would finish the night with two hits, driving in runs 8 and 9 in the bottom of 7th.
Fellow Rule 5 pick Zach Pop would make his debut as well, flashing a sinker that topped out at 98.2 mph, per baseball-savant in a 1-2-3 6th inning. Pop pitched to a 1.34 ERA in 80 minor league innings from 2017-19 in the Dodgers and Orioles’ systems.
Garrett Cooper would hit Miami’s first home run of the season, taking a 66 mph curveball from Hill over the left field wall to give Miami a 3-2 lead. Cooper would later drive in Aguilar to tie the game at 6 on an error charged to Rays’ right fielder Austin Meadows, as well the go-ahead run on a single in the bottom of the 7th, finishing the night with 3 RBI.
COOOOOOOOP goes DEEEEEEEEEEP for the Marlins pic.twitter.com/7Urs3osuo7— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) April 3, 2021
Jazz Chisholm Jr. continued his good-doings, stealing bases on consecutive pitches off of Hill in the 4th inning, eventually scoring on a Chad Wallach single. Wallach himself would finish the night with his third career 3 hit game and 2 RBI.
Jazz Chisholm. Marlins #4 prospect.— hashim (@___hash___) April 4, 2021
Wreaking havoc on the base paths. Took advantage of Rich Hill’s stretch delivery, swiped 2 bags, and scored on a sac fly to shallow RF.
Would be an elite offensive weapon if he can make consistent contact. pic.twitter.com/6ipUC1rygY
Offseason addition Adam Duvall made his presence felt in Miami with a pinch-hit home run, his first as a Marlin.
All-in-all, 4 of 8 position players who started for the Fish finished with multi-hit games, including Marte, who strung out 4 including an RBI triple in the 8th.
Miami will have Easter Sunday off before beginning a three-game set at home against the Goldschmidt-Arenado-led St. Louis Cardinals on Monday. Trevor Rogers will get the start against Daniel Ponce de Leon in Game 1.