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MIA 5, HOU 4: Mesa Muscles Miami to Win

Edward Cabrera and Victor Mesa Jr. power Marlins to second straight win.

Edward Cabrera #27 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning of the spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on March 07, 2023 in Jupiter, Florida. Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Making his first true spring start since March 7, Edward Cabrera looked like he was in midseason form early. Retiring the Astros in order through the first three innings, Cabrera would allow just 1 run over the remaining 1 23 innings, facing the Houston order twice before departing in a 5-4 Marlins victory. The soon-to-be 25-year-old struck out 3 and walked 2 in his 4 23 innings pitched, throwing 67 in what was scheduled to be an outing of no more than 75 pitches.

In 3 starts since the start of camp, Cabrera has allowed 2 runs in 9.2 spring innings (1.86 ERA), limiting opponents to a .176 batting average.

“Fastball command was there, change up was good. When you’re throwing your change up at 93, you know you’re doing something right,” said manager Skip Schumaker.

Jorge Soler and Avisaíl García would each collect their respective second doubles of the Spring, and first baseman Garrett Cooper plated a pair in the victory, upping his Grapefruit League RBI total to 7.

Carrying a 4-1 lead into the 8th, Braxton Garrett, who worked out of trouble in the 7th, loaded the bases in the 8th before being replaced by Brady Puckett. It would be a 109.9 mph double off the bat of Corey Julks that would ultimately tie the game at 4. Garrett would later return to face two hitters in the 9th before being relieved once again, this time by Cristian Charle in what would be his spring debut.

Miami would send their fans home happy, though. Victor Mesa Jr., the author of an RBI sacrifice fly earlier in the contest, walked it off with a long home run down the right-field line.

“What we like the most is that (Mesa Jr. is) hanging around big leaguers,” uttered a smiling Schumaker.

With the victory, Miami improves to 6-13-1 in Grapefruit League.

Looking Ahead

The Fish will be back in action Monday as they prepare to play their fellow Roger Dean tenants, the St. Louis Cardinals. Miami is 0-3 against the Redbirds this Spring, recently losing Friday’s split-squad contest, 16-2. Daniel Castano (1.17 ERA) is slated to make his second start facing off against Jake Woodford (2.84 ERA).

Of Note

  • Avisaíl García once again started Sunday’s contest in left field, a position he’s played all of 16 games at in the big leagues. Manager Skip Schumaker expects García to split time between the two OF corners and DH this season.
  • Speaking to reporters postgame, Schumaker stated that Cabrera will be between 80-85 pitches in his final next and potential final outing of the spring.
  • Schumaker confirmed postgame that Luis Arraez will return to the club tomorrow and start at 2nd base. Arraez’s Team Venezuela was recently eliminated from the World Baseball Classic following a 9-7 defeat—one where Arraez hit 2 home runs—against Team USA on Saturday.
Houston Astros (4) @ Miami Marlins (5), Win Probability Graph, 19 March 2023