Early this afternoon, the Miami Marlins kicked off their third contest of Spring Training against their cross-state rivals, the Tampa Bay Rays.
The first pitch was at 1:08 P.M., a ball delivered from Rays starter Colin Poche and taken by Miami Marlins leadoff batter Rosell Herrera. The second baseman popped out to the right side of the infield on the second pitch.
The contest resulted in the first win of the spring for the Miami Marlins, a 5-2 decision over the Rays. Of course, these games don’t count in the regular season standings, but they do count for the 67 guys trying to make the Opening Day roster. Here’s four things we learned.
Brian Anderson is in Mid-season Form
At least on the defensive side of the ball, anyway. Brian Anderson was 0-for-3 from the plate, but while stationed at third base, he assisted on all three outs in the second inning. On each play, he ranged to the right, across his body and backhanded the respective balls-in-play, and fired bullets to first baseman Peter O’Brien for all three outs. On the final one, he made the throw from his knees, still in plenty of time to retire the runner.
Starting Pitching Has Looked a Little Shaky
Sandy Alcántara was solid on Saturday, but Trevor Richards gave up two runs yesterday in his two innings. Today’s starter, José Ureña, retired as many batters as he allowed to get onto base before getting lifted with two outs in the second. Ureña allowed three hits and walked a pair, also getting one strikeout.
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You remember Jeff Brigham? He lost his first four major league starts in his debut for the Miami Marlins late last season. He looked good today, pitching the fifth and sixth innings without incident. Brigham walked one, struck one out, and allowed one hit.
Later on, rotational hopeful Zac Gallen pitched a solid seventh inning. After a leadoff single by Mac James, he induced a fly out off the bat of Brandon Lowe. Gallen then struck out both Thomas Milone and Nick Solak swinging.
Bryan Holaday Hit a Baseball About 450 Feet
Prior to striking out later in his fifth inning at bat opposite Rays pitcher Andrew Kittredge, Bryan Holaday just crushed a ball down to left field. The ball was well fair, but the wind was so strong it carried foul. It was the second Miami Marlins home run ball that was seized by the wind gods on it’s way to outfield heaven. Austin Dean had earlier smacked one nearly as hard.
Holaday finished one-for-two with a run scored, while Dean was two-for-three with a run and two RBI. Also of note offensively, infield hopeful Jon Berti scored Harold Ramirez on an RBI-triple in the eighth inning for Miami’s fourth run of the game, then Pedro Alvarez knocked him in with a sacrifice fly.
Riley Ferrell Looks Like the Real Deal
We only had a one-inning introduction to Riley Ferrell, but the right-handed rule 5 acquisition from the Houston Astros system pitched a perfect fourth inning, collecting a pair of strikeouts on the way.
Tomorrow at 1:05 P.M. EST, the Miami Marlins will host the Houston Astros at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Righty Dan Straily is taking the hill for the first two innings, then we’ll see between five and seven relievers.