J.T. Realmuto hits 2nd career grand slam, Marlins top Rockies 6-2

DENVER (AP) — J.T. Realmuto was focused purely on putting the ball in play with the bases loaded and two strikes on him.

He ended up putting it out of play.

Realmuto hit a grand slam during a five-run seventh inning and the Miami Marlins beat the Colorado Rockies 6-2 Saturday.

With one out, Realmuto fouled off three pitches against struggling reliever Bryan Shaw before lining an elevated cutter just over the right-field wall. The drive helped Miami stop a three-game skid and ended the Rockies’ winning streak at four.

“Early, I felt like I was trying to do a little too much in that at-bat,” Realmuto said. “Once I got to two strikes I was really just trying to fight and put the ball in play. That’s really it.” 

Shaw said he threw the pitch he wanted against Realmuto. It just ended with a bad result.

“We executed where we wanted to and he hit it,” Shaw said.

Trevor Richards (2-4) gave up one run and three hits in six innings, striking out eight. He also singled for his first hit in the majors.

The 25-year-old rookie was 0-3 with a 7.40 ERA on the road coming into the day at Coors Field.

“He set the tone,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “He kept us in the game and gave us a chance.” 

Rockies starter Tyler Anderson (4-3) was sharp before allowing three consecutive hits to open the seventh, including an RBI single from pinch-hitter Justin Bour that chased the lefty and put the Marlins ahead 2-1. Starlin Castro then loaded the bases after video review reversed an out call and ruled him safe with an infield single.

An out later, Realmuto hit his second career grand slam. His first came on Aug. 12, 2015 against the Boston Red Sox.

“J.T.’s great, you know he’s not afraid,” Mattingly said. “He’s not bothered by anything out there. He’s one of the guys that you like being up there. I remember telling him last year, at one point he was struggling, and I just told him `there’s no one I like up there better than you’, because you always feel like he’s not afraid and nothing is going to bother him up there. 

Gerardo Parra hit a solo homer in the seventh to bring Colorado within 6-2. Parra drove both runs for the Rockies, who fell back below .500 (38-39).

Derek Dietrich hit his 10th home run of the season off Anderson in the fourth to put the Marlins up 1-0. Colorado tied it on Parra’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: SS Miguel Rojas was a late scratch with soreness from a bruise on his left hand.

Rockies: RHP Scott Oberg (back strain) and LHP Mike Dunn (shoulder strain) were slated to begin rehab assignments in Triple-A Albuquerque on Saturday.

NEW ROLE FOR SHAW?

Colorado manager Bud Black wasn’t opposed to the idea of moving Shaw into a different role in the bullpen as he continues to struggle.

“That’s possible,” Black said. “We have some guys coming back that might potentially be able to go that way to give Bryan a little step back.”

TRANSACTION

The Rockies called up INF Pat Valaika and optioned RHP Yency Almonte to Triple-A Albuquerque.

WELCOME BACK

The Rockies welcomed back a few of their former players as the organization celebrated their 25th year anniversary. Todd Helton and Larry Walker were among those in attendance. Prior to the game, they returning players posed for selfies with fans and a couple of them took a few swings in a batting practice. Former Rockies third baseman Vinny Castilla — who is 50 — hit a couple well over the fence in left to the oohs and ahhs of the crowd.

UP NEXT

Marlins: LHP Caleb Smith (5-6, 4.03 ERA) takes the mound for the series finale Sunday. Smith has gone 3-4 with a 4.89 ERA on the road this season.

Rockies: RHP German Marquez (5-7, 5.20 ERA) is 1-2 with a 7.77 in his four starts in June. He got the win against the Mets on Tuesday after allowing four runs in six innings.