One of the many ways this year’s Miami Marlins team will measure its progress is how they fare in close games. Tonight, they were in a close game. Tonight, they got it done.
Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto continued his All-Star calibre campaign with three hits, including a key two-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning. That hit changed a tight 2-1 Marlins lead into a two-run cushion. Brian Anderson followed with a single to drive in Realmuto to make it 4-1.
Brad Ziegler allowed a ninth inning home run to Cody Bellinger, but the insurance runs made the difference, as Miami locked down a 4-2 win. The Marlins took the first game of this three-game series and have won four-of-five from the high-payroll Dodgers this season. The Dodgers have now lost 15 of their last 20.
The Miami Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, when Martin Prado scored on a throwing error. Miguel Rojas continued his season-long power surge in the fourth to produce a run. It was not a home run, but a long sacrifice fly to score the ever-present Anderson.
Wei-Yin Chen started on the mound for Miami, and while he only lasted 4 1/3 innings, he did not allow a run. Manager Don Mattingly wisely inserted Nick Wittgren into the game with two on and one out in the fifth. Wittgren escaped the jam. He also retired the side in order in the sixth inning to earn the win.
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Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig homered off Miami Marlins reliever Tayron Guerrero to get Los Angeles on the board in the top of the seventh. Kyle Barraclough breezed through the eighth before Ziegler closed out the game in the ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Prado made the defensive play of the night, if not the year, in the fifth inning. The third baseman sprinted across the diamond, and in a full body leap, grabbed a bunt attempt out of the air. Not bad for a guy who just finished rehabbing a bad knee!
Anderson and Justin Bour had two hits apiece, as did Prado. Prado batted in the leadoff spot, a rare appearance there for him. Game two of this three-game series is at 7:10PM on Wednesday. Caleb Smith seeks his third win against highly-touted Dodgers rookie Walker Buehler, who was L.A.’s first round draft pick three years ago.
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