Miami Marlins Strike Again: Three Standouts from Sixth Win

JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Ryan Lavarnway #36 of the Miami Marlins poses for a photo during Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 19: Ryan Lavarnway #36 of the Miami Marlins poses for a photo during Photo Day at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on February 19, 2020 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Miami Marlins won their sixth consecutive game to open 2020 Spring Training with a 3-1 victory against the New York Mets on Thursday evening.

With a crowd of 3,123 on hand at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, the hosting Miami Marlins topped the Mets in a low-scoring, 3-1 affair. For the first time through their streak, they did not have to come-from-behind, although the two clubs did trade zeroes until the bottom of the fifth inning.

Robert Dugger started and lasted 2 2/3 innings, striking out four batters but surrendering three hits and a walk. He got 30-of-47 pitches over the plate before giving way to reliever Brad Boxberger.

In 1 1/3 frames, Boxberger struck out a pair and did not give up a walk or a hit. He did, however, hit Jake Marisnick with a pitch.

Lewis Brinson relieved Matt Joyce halfway through the game as a pinch-runner, and was the only player to score twice. He crossed the plate for the first time on an RBI-double in the fifth, then smacked his second home run of the spring in the seventh to give the Marlins a 2-0 lead.

Miami Marlins
WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 25: Lewis Brinson #25 of the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Jesus Sanchez made his first appearance of the spring, striking out twice in two at bats. He also made three perfect defensive plays in right field.

Dylan Lee earned the save with a perfect ninth, getting seven-of-10 over the plate and striking former Marlins prospect Braxton Lee out on four pitches.

Miami Marlins Standouts

The Easy Way

Ryan Lavarnway was a late replacement for Jorge Alfaro, who was scheduled to play. Alfaro reported in with a sore left-oblique.

Despite the near-total-lack of preparation, Lavarnway started off the game right, ending the top of the first inning by picking Peter Alonso off second with a dart to Jon Berti. In the fourth inning, Lavarnway threw out Jake Marisnick trying to steal second with an equally adept throw to shortstop Miguel Rojas. Although Lavarnway struck out on four pitches in his first plate appearance, he notched the first run of the game with a first-pitch RBI-double in the fifth innings, scoring pinch runner Brinson.

Miami Marlins
MIAMI, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 21: Jordan Yamamoto #50 of the Miami Marlins. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Yamamoto’s Lucky Number Seven

Jordan Yamamoto came in to pitch the fifth, and ended up lasting three innings in total. His only blemishes were a two-out single to Max Moroff in the fifth, a leadoff-HBP to Michael Conforto in the sixth, and a leadoff-double to Andres Gimenez in the seventh.

Yamamoto handled Gimenez expertly after allowing the 21-year-old prospect to reach scoring position on the second pitch of the inning. He struck out Tomas Nido on four pitches before Jose Devers committed his second error of the game on a pickoff attempt, allowing Gimenez to third.

Yamamoto then struck out Jarrett Parker on five pitches and Moroff on four, for a total of four K’s in the game and three in his final inning of work.

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Jerar Encarnacion’s Continued Coming Out Party

Jerar Encarnacion relieved Corey Dickerson midway through the game, and continued doing what he’s been doing since the spring started. Already three-for-six with a pair of homers and a team-best four RBI before this game, Encarnacion doubled in each of his plate appearances against the Mets, collecting another RBI. The 22-year-old now has 13 total bases in eight PA for a 1.625 SLG.

Maybe that’s an unsustainable SLG, but let’s dream a little about this guy. I’ve heard comparisons to Giancarlo Stanton in a few chatrooms across the web, and that may not be too far off the mark. The kid is six-foot-four and 220 lbs., and is pretty much coming out of nowhere, splitting 2019 between middle- and high-class A ball.

Encarnacion may still be about a year away, but the Miami Marlins could do far worse than to call him up a little earlier. Thanks for reading. Look for the Marlins to try for seven-in-a-row tomorrow against the Houston Astros, starting at 1:05 PM ET.

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