JUPITER, Fla. — A 55-minute rain delay couldn’t stop Miami Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez from getting his work in on Thursday afternoon.
Weather halted play between the Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium in the top of the fourth inning. At the time, Alvarez had given up two runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. He had thrown 43 pitches (30 strikes).
Jason Heyward connected on a 1-0 pitch from Alvarez for a one-out solo homer to right in the first. Matt Holliday produced an RBI single to center with one out in the third, driving in Matt Carpenter.
As both clubs waited for the storm to pass, Alvarez reached his 90-pitch limit on a mound in the batting cages on the Marlins side of the complex. He simulated three more innings of 15 pitches each.
"It was raining pretty hard there," manager Mike Redmond said. "He sat around for about 20 minutes. … He looked good out there today. That’s Henderson — the way he pitched. I was happy with the way he went out there. It’s too bad. It would’ve been nice to let him finish his pitches out on the big field, but ultimately you don’t want to jeopardize themselves by cooling down in the rain when they can get their work in."
Alvarez, who still has not officially been named the Opening Day starter, will toss a bullpen on Saturday. He has one more spring outing scheduled before the regular season. The 2014 All-Star is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in four spring starts.
"I feel good," Alvarez said in Spanish. "I’m 100 percent ready to go."
Once the delay ended, the starters were replaced and the lineup was as follows:
Worth noting: All position players will be making the trip for Friday night’s game in Kissimmee against the Houston Astros. Redmond plans on the regulars going either nine innings or four at-bats over the weekend.
"These guys are close if not ready to go right now," Redmond said. "It’s just a matter of keep getting them some at-bats and keep them feeling confident. When I started the season I wasn’t looking at the results of a hit or whatever. I just wanted to feel like I was ready to go. I think our guys are pretty close to that."