No-hitters, All-Stars, Cy Young Awards, World Series MVPs—the Florida/Miami Marlins have had them all on the mound throughout their 31-year history. On this day 30 years ago, Ryan Bowen etched his name in Marlins lore by completing a franchise first.
Against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 15, 1993, Bowen tossed the first complete-game shutout in franchise history. It came in an 8-0 victory for the Florida Marlins.
In their inaugural season, the Marlins arrived with 15 wins under their belts, but had yet to keep a team off the scoreboard. That would be no problem for Bowen.
Throughout the night, Bowen had to work around traffic on the bases as he yielded six hits and four walks. Each time, however, he was able to pitch out of trouble.
Bowen faced the minimum the first time through the order. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that Florida found offense of its own.
After Benito Santiago’s RBI groundout got the Marlins on the board in the fourth, a line-drive double play off the bat of Ozzie Smith in the bottom of the inning allowed Bowen to again face the minimum. Florida grew its lead with three runs in the fifth.
Following two walks and a hit by pitch to load the bases, Chuck Carr plated two runs with a double to left. Rich Renteria’s RBI single scored Bowden to push the lead to 4-0.
Todd Zeile would have the first St. Louis hit off Bowen in the fifth, but the Cardinals could muster nothing else. St. Louis put two in scoring position with one out in the sixth inning, but Bowen was able to get Smith to pop out before striking out Ray Lankford.
Following an RBI single from Junior Felix in the top of the seventh, the Cardinals’ first two hitters reached in the bottom of the inning. With one out in the inning, Renteria gunned down Gregg Jeffries at the plate on a groundball off the bat of Luis Alicea to keep the shutout intact.
The Marlins used an RBI triple from Walt Weiss and an RBI double from Renteria in the eighth to push the lead to 7-0. In the bottom of the inning, the first two men again reached for the Cardinals, but Bowen was able to get Smith to hit into a second double play before fanning Lankford for the second time.
Weiss capped the scoring with an RBI single in the ninth. Mark Whiten recorded St. Louis’ final hit of the night with a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. After getting Zeile to pop out, Bowen struck out Alicea to cap the contest.
Bowen finished with 119 pitches and just three strikeouts in the victory. Offensively, Carr, Renteria, Weiss, and Alex Arias each finished with two hits for Florida.
Bowen would spend five full seasons in Major League Baseball, compiling just a 17-28 record and 4.49 career ERA. He would finish his career with three complete games and just one shutout. It happened to be the first shutout in Marlins history. It came on this day three decades ago.