Marlins Continue to Frustrate Diamondbacks, Rally for Victory

Ketel Marte of the Diamondbacks spits after striking out against the Marlins
(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 4

PHOENIX, May 10 — The Miami Marlins, who took two of three from the Arizona Diamondbacks at home last month, repeated the feat on the road Wednesday afternoon.

Right fielder Jesus Sanchez went 2-for-4, including a back-breaking three-run home run off Merrill Kelly, and added a crucial ninth-inning double that led to the go-ahead run as the Marlins edged the Diamondbacks, 5–4, in come-from-behind fashion. Shortstop Peyton Burdick also went 2-for-4, hitting two doubles and scoring the tying run. Diamondbacks left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a double, his team’s only extra-base hit, in the loss.

“There’s some frustration in there,” manager Torey Lovullo said of his team. “I think when we walked into our dugout today, and even through the course of it, all the way through the final out of the game, I felt like we were going to win the game. And I think everyone in that dugout did too.”

Marlins Take Lead on Mistake Pitch, Diamondbacks Take It Right Back

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The starting pitchers, Marlins righty Edward Cabrera and Diamondbacks righty Merrill Kelly, traded zeroes in the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, designated hitter Jorge Soler notched the Marlins’ first hit with a single to right. He advanced to second when first baseman Luis Arraez drew a follow-up walk. This brought up right fielder Jesus Sanchez, who drove a majestic home run to center, a towering drive that landed in the center-field camera well.

“I was trying to go fastball up and away,” Kelly said. “Just yanked it down in the heart of the zone. … I gotta hand it to him. He put a really good swing on it.”

The Diamondbacks responded immediately to the 3–0 deficit, largely through patience at the plate. Second baseman Ketel Marte and left fielder Corbin Carroll led off with consecutive walks. First baseman Christian Walker popped to first before left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. drew another walk, loading the bases for right fielder Pavin Smith, who drew his second bases-loaded walk in five days. Up came shortstop Geraldo Perdomo. A balk by Cabrera advanced all the runners, giving the Diamondbacks their second run as Marte crossed the plate. Perdomo ultimately singled to right, scoring Smith and tying the game, 3–3. Steven Okert took over pitching duties from Cabrera, first facing center fielder Alek Thomas. Thomas, after Perdomo stole second, gave the Diamondbacks a 4–3 lead with a run-scoring groundout to short. Catcher Jose Herrera could not add to the lead, ending the inning with a grounder to second.

Marlins Tie It Back Up, Relief Corps Shuts Diamondbacks Down

The lead did not last long, as the Marlins tied the game back up in the top of the fifth. Left fielder Peyton Burdick led off with a double to the left-field corner and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Jacob Stallings. Against a drawn-in infield, second baseman Garrett Hampson punched a single to left, scoring Burdick.

The Diamondbacks could not respond in the bottom half despite a one-out walk by Marte. Carroll dragged a bunt up the first-base line, trying for a single. Arraez fielded it near the line as Carroll was about to pass by. Carroll veered toward his right, evading the tag and running through the bag. But plate umpire Dan Bellino, looking straight up the line, saw that once Arraez started the tag attempt, Carroll ran more than three feet away from his base path. Consequently, Carroll was out, but Marte was still standing on second base with two away. New pitcher Bryan Hoeing kept Walker from driving Marte in, inducing an inning-ending groundout to third.

Kelly pitched a 1–2–3 top of the sixth. New Marlins pitcher Tanner Scott, a lefty, struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth despite allowing a one-out walk to Smith. Left-handed Diamondbacks reliever Kyle Nelson pitched around a one-out double by Burdick for a scoreless top of the seventh. Scott struck out Herrera and third baseman Josh Rojas — Rojas’ third whiff of the game — to begin the bottom of the seventh before giving way to the right-handed Huascar Brazoban. Marte, the first to face him, hit an end-of-the-bat nubber up the third-base line. He beat it out for an infield single, only the third Diamondbacks hit of the game. Carroll stranded him, popping foul to the third baseman to end the inning.

Late-Inning Heroics

Diamondbacks lefty Andrew Chafin sat the Marlins down in order in the top of the eighth. Marlins righty Dylan Floro nearly matched the feat in the bottom of the eighth, pitching around a two-out single to left by Smith while tossing a scoreless frame. Chafin returned to the mound in the top of the ninth, surrendering a leadoff double to Sanchez before giving way to righty Miguel Castro. As Castro entered the game, the Marlins replaced Sanchez — who had a tight left hamstring — with Bryan De La Cruz. Castro retired Jon Berti on a grounder to short, one that was hit slowly enough to allow De La Cruz to advance to third. Shortstop Joey Wendle, 1-for-22 on the season at this point, lined a sinker over the outer half into the left-field corner for an opposite-field double, bringing home De La Cruz with the go-ahead run.

Pinch-hitters Emmanuel Rivera and Gabriel Moreno led off the bottom of the ninth against dependable Marlins closer A.J. Puk with a popup to first and strikeout, respectively. Pinch-hitter Nick Ahmed, batting for Rojas, drilled the first pitch he saw into left for a sharp single. Up came Marte as the winning run. He worked the count to 2–2 but went down chasing a high fastball, cementing the 5–4 victory for the Marlins.

Must Execute Better

Lovullo said there were “a couple of critical areas” where the Diamondbacks did not execute as well as they could have. “We built some innings, I thought we put up a big, crooked number to take a lead. So I felt like everything was going well. But being able to execute and make pitches at the most critical times are things that we talked about all spring training. It rotates over to any part of the game, being able to come up at the most critical point in the ballgame and get a base hit. So those are things that we’re learning. Those are things that we are continuing to talk about. We’re watching our guys mature and grow. But this is a game where I felt like to get to where we’re going, we’ve got to find a way to execute and win and slam-dunk it.”

Looking Ahead

Floro (2–1) earned the win, while Chafin (2–1) took the loss, both in relief. Puk notched his sixth save of the season. The Diamondbacks and Marlins will both be at home for their next series. After a Thursday off-day, the Marlins open a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds Friday night in Miami. Highly touted prospect Eury Perez will toe the rubber for the Marlins in his major league debut, facing Reds right-hander Graham Ashcraft (2–1, 3.82 ERA). First pitch will be at 6:40 pm Eastern. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, the Diamondbacks cap off their homestand with a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Giants righty Alex Cobb (2–1, 2.01 ERA) will face Diamondbacks lefty Tommy Henry (1–0, 5.17 ERA) Thursday night, with first pitch coming at 6:40 pm Arizona Time.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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