Playing at Fenway Park for the first time as a major leaguer, minutes away from where he spent most of childhood, Isan Díaz came to the plate Friday night in the top of the sixth inning against Adam Ottavino. With the bases loaded, two outs and the Marlins trailing 5-2, he represented the potential go-ahead run.
Alas, Díaz struck out on three consecutive sliders to end the threat. It would prove to be Miami’s last scoring opportunity as the persistent Boston rain made the field unusable. This was one of six games around Major League Baseball that had to be shortened or postponed due to the weather.
- Cody Poteet—4.2 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 24.1 CSW% (79 pitches)
- Martin Pérez—5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 29.6 CSW% (71 pitches)
Despite the loss, there were positive developments for the Marlins.
Starling Marte made his return to the roster after missing the previous 35 games (fractured rib). I had my doubts about Marte contributing immediately—he only had the time for two minor league rehab games (six total plate appearances) before being reinstated from the IL. So it was encouraging to see him crush Pérez’s cutter 367 feet into the left-center field gap his first time up. He finished the contest going 1-for-3, including a strikeout against Pérez and a deep flyout against Ottavino.
In the second inning, Jorge Alfaro exploited Fenway’s hitter-friendly right field corner for his first home run of 2021.
This was the Marlins’ first opportunity to use the designated hitter in 2021, and just as everybody anticipated (that’s my sarcastic font), Sandy León got the starting nod. Their original DH selection, Adam Duvall, was scratched shortly before the game with discomfort on his left side. Competing in Boston as a visitor after parts of five seasons and a World Series championship with the Sox, León recorded a single in his two plate appearances.
On paper, this figured to be Cody Poteet’s toughest matchup as a big leaguer. First time through the Red Sox order, he was excellent, filling up the strike zone with his fastball and often getting whiffs on it.
However, his dominance began to slip when Poteet surrendered a double to No. 9 hitter Hunter Renfroe. Later in that third inning, J.D. Martinez mashed an 0-2 changeup—one that should’ve been located below the knees but stayed up too much—for a game-tying double that scored Renfroe and Kiké Hernández.
Poteet’s command of his breaking balls was not precise, either. In the fifth, Alex Verdugo homered on a first-pitch curveball to put the Sox ahead for good and send the rookie right-hander to the showers. The outing nearly tripled Poteet’s earned run average, from 1.06 to 2.95.
Rain delay appreciation tweet for our Grounds Crew pic.twitter.com/l0tIDUcjCM— Red Sox (@RedSox) May 29, 2021
We’ll have to wait at least one more day for the MLB debut of newly recalled infielder Luis Marte. Hopefully Jazz Chisholm Jr. will be able to contribute in some way after three straight games of nursing a mild right ankle sprain.
Trevor Rogers and Nathan Eovaldi are the probable starters for Saturday’s game. First pitch (weather permitting) will be at 4:10 p.m. ET.
- Red Sox
- Red Sox