MIAMI — Though it’s a long season in its very early stages, the Miami Marlins have already avoided trends that troubled them during a 100-loss season.
In an 8-5 comeback victory over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday afternoon, the Marlins (3-1) secured the series win.
It took them until the last series of April — ninth of the season — to accomplish that feat in 2013. Through four games, they have scored 27 runs. Miami didn’t reach that number until the 14th game last season.
Last year, the Marlins would’ve rolled over down 5-1 through five innings and 5-4 entering the eighth. They were 7-78 when trailing after seven frames.
On Thursday, they put together a four-run eighth off four hits, a walk and a sacrifice bunt.
”We can do it,” slugger Giancarlo Stanton said. ”This is only one team. But you take from what we did. We came back twice. We scored all those runs in the first game. If you think you’re going to win those games every time, good things will happen.”
No player better represents the scrappy play the ballclub has adopted than third baseman Casey McGehee.
Miami scored its first run when McGehee disrupted a double play and Garrett Jones ran down the line for a fielder’s choice. In the third, he scored from second on Marcell Ozuna’s infield single.
McGehee drove in three runs over the seventh and eighth innings with an RBI triple and a two-run single, the latter providing insurance after Stanton’s go-ahead base hit.
”I think it started in spring training,” McGehee said. ”It happened to be that I was involved in a couple of them today, but it started in spring training the mentality of scratching, clawing for everything we can, not taking anything for granted.”
Early on, the Marlins seemed to revert back to their 2013 ways of failing to execute.
With two men on and no outs in the second, starter Jacob Turner bunted into a fielder’s choice instead of advancing the runners.
Over the sixth and seventh innings, the Marlins stranded a runner at third with less than two outs, unable to tack on extra runs and chip away at the lead.
The night before had been much of the same. Of the eight left on base, half came over the last two innings of a potential comeback.
Stanton had blasted the game-winning three-run homer just foul. Two pitches later he connected on an RBI single, but Jones popped out to third to end the game.
”It’s one of those things the more chances you give yourself you’re going to come up with the hits eventually,” McGehee said. ”It’s not always going to work out, but I think last night’s said just as much about this team (as today). We had every opportunity to quit and phone that one the rest of the way, but to be able to have the go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth inning said a lot about the character and tenacity of this team.”
Christian Yelich, who was hitless in his last 13 at-bats, blooped a two-out RBI single off Troy Tulowitzki’s glove in shallow left to tie the game at 5 on Thursday.
Facing two strikes, Stanton followed with a line-drive go-ahead RBI single to center. McGehee drove in a pair with a single to cap the scoring.
”I know it’s only been four games, but I’ve seen a lot of energy, I’ve seen a lot of fight, a lot of battle, and that’s good stuff,” manager Mike Redmond said.