Apr 23, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins ground crew use steam to clear snow from the seats before a game between Minnesota Twins and Miami Marlins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
After dropping the first game of their double header with the Minnesota Twins, the Miami Marlins were able to bounce back in a huge way. The Marlins offense tied a season high scoring eight runs and picked up a season high 16 hits on the night.
Rob Brantly Leads Fish
After a quiet first game with the bats, the Marlins were able to heat up Target Field in the first inning. Placido Polanco started things off for the Marlins with a one out single. After a Giancarlo Stanton walk and a Greg Dobbs single to load the bases, the Marlins scored their first run on a fielders choice by Justin Ruggiano, who barely avoided being doubled up at first. Rugg beating out the double play set up Rob Brantly to pick up a key two-out double to score two runs, extending the Marlins early lead to 3-0.
The Marlins hot hitting picked up right where it left off in the second with back-to-back-to-back singles by Joe Mahoney, Donovan Solano, and Chris Coghlan. After Polanco struck out, a fielders choice hit by Stanton allowed the Marlins to extend the lead to 4-0.
Unfortunately, the Marlins scored only one run with the bases loaded and one out. Marlins fans were rightfully panicking that the Marlins might find a way to blow this lead.
However, after the Twins scored three runs off of Nolasco to pull back into the game, the Marlins offense was able to add on a few more insurance runs to keep the lead for good.
Giancarlo Stanton looked like the 2012 version that mashed 37 homers last season when he opened the fifth inning with a lead off double. After Dobbs grounded out and Ruggiano struck out, it looked like the Marlins would fail with once again with runners in scoring position.
Brantly wanted no part of that, as he hit his second double of the game, to score Stanton from third to extend the Marlins lead to 5-3. After the Twins cut the lead to 5-4 off of A.J. Ramos, Brantly came through with a key run scoring single to score Dobbs. The next hitter, Chris Valaika drove in Ruggiano to extend the Marlins lead to 7-4.
The Marlins extended the lead to 8-4 in the top of the eight inning when Stanton picked up his second hit of the day and his second RBI of the game, scoring Solano. Stanton now has three RBI’s on the season, all coming in the previous three games. Hopefully this is a sign of Stanton turning things around, as the Marlins will need his bat to turn things around and give fans a somewhat respectable season.
Ricky Nolasco Delivers Strong Outing
With an early 3-0 lead, Nolasco was able to give the Marlins a strong outing, as he picked up his first win of the season. Nolasco allowed six hits over his five innings of work, striking out four hitters and walking just one. Only two of the three runs Nolasco allowed were earned runs.
After he went 1-2-3 in his first two innings, Nolasco allowed three Twins runs in the third inning. He allowed three of his six hits in the third, along with his lone walk. Nolasco pitched around a one out triple by Eduardo Escobar to avoid any further damage in the game.
Overall, Marlins fans should be encouraged by Nolasco’s outing. It does not seem the postponed start Monday nor the last minute switch with Jose Fernandez affected Nolasco in his start.
A.J. Ramos relieved Nolasco in the sixth, but struggled in this one. Ramos allowed one run on on hit and two walks. Ramos has been dominant at times this season and looked like a rookie reliever at other times.
Mike Dunn pitched two solid innings for the Marlins in relief of Ramos. Dunn struck out three hitters in his two innings, but also allowed two hits and a run. Dunn has been outstanding for the Marlins early on.
Due to the run that Dunn allowed in the eight inning, Steve Cishek fell in line for a save opportunity. Cishek did not disappoint, as he pitched around a walk to retire the Twins and finish off his second save of the season. Although his early season ERA sits at 5.00, his sparkling FIP of 2.13 and his impressive 10/3 K/BB ratio should have Marlins fans encouraged about Cishek’s chances to have a strong season.
Upcoming: The Marlins will try to extend their winning streak to a season-high two on Thursday, as they kick off a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs. The pitching matchup in the first game will be Edwin Jackson against Kevin Slowey. First pitch will be at 7:10 PM EST. Stay tuned to Marlin Maniac for an extensive series preview.