Miami Marlins fans are probably wishing that Spring Training games actually counted because their team has gotten off to a blazing fast start in the Grapefruit League.
Sunday afternoon in Jupiter, the Marlins topped the Detroit Tigers 4-2 behind a sparkling four scoreless innings from Dan Haren.
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Miami’s projected number four starter allowed three hits in his four frames while walking none and striking out a pair. Through three abbreviated spring starts Haren’s ERA now stands at 2.00.
The Marlins regulars jumped on Tigers starter Alfredo Simon early, with Michael Morse plating the game’s first run with an RBI single in the first inning. Giancarlo Stanton scored Dee Gordon on a sacrifice fly in the third, and Marcell Ozuna mashed his first home run of the spring on a deep shot to left in the fourth. Stanton extended the lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning with an RBI knock off Detroit’s second pitcher of the day Bruce Rondon.
The Tigers got a couple runs back off Nick Masset in the sixth. Masset, a non-roster invitee who is a long shot to make the club, served up a two-run homer to J.D. Martinez. He was preceded by Preston Claiborne who pitched a scoreless fifth after Haren’s day was done. Pat Misch, Andrew McKirahan and Sam Dyson tossed a scoreless inning each to close the game out.
Detroit had eight hits total while the Marlins had just seven.
The Marlins (8-3) now own the Grapefruit League’s best record. It’s an incredibly meaningless feat, sure, but it’s always nice to see your team at the top of the standings, albeit the preseason standings.
What we think we learned from Sunday’s game
- Giancarlo Stanton is a notoriously slow starter each Spring Training, so his .188 average is of absolutely no concern right now. He also hasn’t homered yet, but again, he is still adjusting to his face guard and seeing competitive pitching for the first time in six months. He’ll be fine by the start of the season.
- Marcell Ozuna also hasn’t done much this spring, and hitting his first home run today is encouraging.
- Adeiny Hechavarria was back in the lineup and seems to be doing fine. There’s no reason to think he won’t be ready for Opening Day, even though it’s been interesting to see Reid Brignac succeeding at short in Hech’s absense. Brignac will probably still start the year in Triple-A, unless the team decides to carry him as another utility guy.
- All projected Opening Day starters were in the lineup sans Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They each stayed in the game for three plate appearances, so they’re slowly getting stretched out as they should be at this point in the spring.
- Christian Yelich drew the team’s only two walks on Sunday, because that’s what he does. That’s also how you know it’s Spring Training and the numbers usually don’t mean much: every hitter is out there trying to make contact and work on their swings, drawing walks not a priority right now.
Next Miami Marlins Grapefruit League game
March 17 (Tuesday)
Both games can be seen live on MLB.TV with the Cardinals matchup tape delayed on MLB Network Tuesday night.
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