Marlins rally in 8th, finish off home sweep of Mariners
MIAMI (AP) — Christian Yelich was confident he was safe at home even if home plate umpire Ed Hickox called him out.
Replay backed him up.
Adeiny Hechavarria immediately followed the ruling with a go-ahead sacrifice fly for the Miami Marlins, who held on to beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Sunday completing a three-game sweep.
"I thought I beat it from the get-go and then I saw him call me out, I kind of started yelling at him a little bit telling him I was safe," Yelich said. "If we didn’t have replay right there, it’s a 2-1 game and we got two outs so it was huge. It was a big win for us."
Yelich led off the inning with a double that extended his hitting streak to 14 games. He scored the tying run.
Steve Cishek made it interesting in the ninth, allowing a leadoff double to Corey Hart. Hechavarria then made a diving stop at shortstop and a spinning throw to nab Dustin Ackley at first base preventing pinch-runner Brad Miller from scoring.
"That was a game-saver," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "That’s why I feel that guy is the best shortstop in the league. I’m glad he’s on our team. That was a huge play."
Cishek struck out Nick Franklin and Michael Saunders to end the game for his third save and 32nd consecutive conversion.
A crowd of 20,208 took in the first day game this season at Marlins Park with the retractable roof open. It was 78 degrees when the game began and shadows partially covered the infield when the game ended.
"Shadows came over the infield, which makes it tough for hitters, but at the same time, too, we mounted our rally with the shadows," Redmond said. "Maybe we’re shadow-friendly."
Mike Dunn (1-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Marlins, who have won four of five.
Tom Wilhelmsen (0-1) took the loss for the Mariners, which lost their sixth straight.
"Things just aren’t going well right now, but that’s okay; we’ll get out of this," Wilhelmsen said. "We have a much better team than what we’re showing."
After Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee were walked by Wilhelmsen to load the bases in the eighth with one out, Garrett Jones hit a groundball to first baseman Justin Smoak, who’s throw home was late allowing Yelich to score the tying run.
"I fielded it and threw it, but (Yelich) just got a heck of a jump," Smoak said. "It was a bang-bang play."
Redmond immediately jumped out of the dugout to challenge the call, which was overturned after a delay of 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
It was the second time replay was used in the series, which benefitted the Marlins. During Friday’s game, replay determined that third baseman Kyle Seeger bobbled the ball during a transfer leaving the Marlins with the based loaded in the ninth before Giancarlo Stanton cleared them with a game-winning grand slam.
"It’s worked out well for us over the last couple of games, that’s for sure," Redmond said.
Seattle led 2-0 on a pair of sacrifice flies by Smoak and Ackley.
Mariners starter Brandon Maurer held the Marlins without a hit until the fifth inning when Jones reached base on an infield single.
Donnavan Solano ended Maurer’s outing two batters later with an RBI single to pull the Marlins to 2-1.
Maurer allowed one run, two hits, and two walks in 4 1-3 innings in his season debut.
"He was tired; he was exhausted," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We knew that was going to be a pitch-count (situation) anyway. He did good in the time he was in there."
Miami’s Kevin Slowey pitched five innings allowing two runs.
NOTES: Stanton was intentionally walked in three consecutive games for the first time in his career and has drawn five intentional free passes on the season after having five all of last season. …. The teams combined to use 12 pitchers in the game. … It was the first time in 11 games that the Marlins did not hit a home run. … Miami begins a three-game series at Atlanta on Monday with RHP Tom Koehler (2-1, 1.89) on the mound against RHP Julio Teheran (2-1, 1.93). … Seattle will host Houston on Monday sending ace RHP Felx Hernandez (3-0, 1.91) to the hill against LHP Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 3.50).