After getting swept at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals to open a six-game road trip against National League Central teams, sending the team to a season-worst 10 games below the .500 point, Don Mattingly and the Miami Marlins were hoping for more positive results Friday night in the series opener of a three-game weekend series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. A five-run third inning, paced by a two-out grand slam from Adam Duvall, gave the Marlins a surprising 10-2 victory.
Cody Poteet, coming off the injured list (sprained right MCL) and starting for the first time since June 4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, kept Miami in the contest. That is pretty much all you can ask for out of the right-hander considering he didn’t have the luxury of any minor league rehab starts. Aside from two solo homers off the bat of Joc Pederson, Poteet punched out five hitters in 3 2⁄3 innings of work.
Miami’s bats produced 10 runs and nine hits in total, but eight came against right-hander Zach Davies, who entered Friday’s contest with a career ERA of over five in six starts against the Marlins.
Duvall concluded his superior offensive night with two home runs and six total runs batted in. He became the only player ever to reach both of those statistical benchmarks multiple times during his Marlins career.
Miguel Rojas went 0-for-5 in his first game back from the IL, but played flawless defense at shortstop. Jorge Alfaro reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances—you may be surprised how he compares to another veteran catcher so far in 2021. Zach Pop contributed a career-high 2 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Right-hander Pablo López will look to increase Miami’s winning streak to two Saturday afternoon. López turned in his worst performance of 2021 in his previous start vs. the Atlanta Braves at loanDepot park this past Sunday afternoon, allowing four earned runs on six hits in a season-low three innings pitched. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20p.m. EST.
- Anthony Rizzo