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SEA 6, MIA 8; Marlins offense erupts early

It hasn’t been especially pretty, but the Fish have strung together six wins in a row, the longest active streak in the National League.

Jesus Sanchez #7 of the Miami Marlins high fives Jesus Aguilar #99 after he scored on a two-run home run by Jorge Soler #12 (not pictured) against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at loanDepot park Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

From a Marlins perspective, all eyes were on Elieser Hernandez entering Friday’s game. Was he going to solidify his place in the starting rotation against a talented Mariners lineup, or would another bad outing ratchet up the calls for him to be removed from that role? Fans rooting for one of those extremes left unsatisfied—Hernandez gave Miami five nondescript innings and earned the win thanks to a big night from the Marlins’ bats.

Hernandez’s Seattle counterpart, rookie right-hander Matt Brash, was humbled in the bottom of the first inning when he left a 3-1 fastball to Jorge Soler over the heart of the plate. Soler teed off on it, launching the pitch 468 feet to left field. Statcast projects that it was the longest home run of the Cuban outfielder’s career.

Fish Stripes original GIF

But then, Hernandez responded with his worst half-inning in the top of the second. He too missed his spot with a heater and Luis Torrens capitalized with a bases-clearing, three-run double off the center field wall.

The Marlins BABIP’d Brash to the showers in the bottom of the second. He allowed four more runs on five hits, all of which were singles and none of which traveled even half as far as Soler’s homer. Credit Brian Anderson for igniting that rally, while Jacob Stallings, Jesús Aguilar and Jesús Sánchez each recorded runs batted in.

Hernandez put up zeroes from there, though he didn’t get many style points in the process. Aside from his slider, the Venezuelan veteran only generated one whiff with the rest of his repertoire. He found himself in deep counts and accumulated 97 pitches, his heaviest workload since 2019.

The Mariners didn’t mount a real threat from the third through eighth innings. Then Don Mattingly called upon Shawn Armstrong to handle the final frame—he had gone nearly a week since his previous appearance. It became apparent immediately that the 8-3 lead was not safe in his hands. Armstrong surrendered hits to J.P. Crawford, Julio Rodríguez and Jarred Kelenic before departing.

Anthony Bender converted his fifth save of the season.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • Mitch Haniger suffered a high right ankle sprain in his first plate appearance. He rolled the ankle on a foul ball, then aggravated it on the swing that produced a single. Haniger was in a walking boot after the game and will presumably miss the rest of this series, though the Mariners haven’t sent him for an MRI yet.
  • Miguel Rojas mashed his first homer of the year off of reliever Matthew Festa. Despite the poor 2022 results overall, his batted ball quality has not been significantly different from years past—it’s just that he is rarely elevating the ball.
  • On his triple, Jazz Chisholm Jr. went home to third in 11.27 seconds. It’s the fastest home-to-third time for any MLB player this season, according to Statcast.
  • All four Marlins minor league affiliates won their games on Friday, too. If memory serves me correctly, that’s the first “organizational sweep” of the 2022 season.

Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference

Win Probability Chart - Mariners @ Marlins Baseball Savant

On Saturday, left-handers Robbie Ray and Jesús Luzardo are set to face off. There is a University of Miami Night promotion, which figures to draw the largest crowd that LoanDepot Park has had since the home opener. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET.