Marlins 8, Nationals 2
The gaudy sculpture in left field swung into motion and lit up
like a carnival ride as Miami Marlins fans cheered the rare
Home run, home team.
Adeiny Hechavarria ended a pair of home run droughts with a
three-run shot that helped Miami beat the Washington Nationals 8-2
”I was beginning to think that the home run sculpture out there
wasn’t plugged in,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. ”I’m glad
that it’s working.”
The offensively challenged Marlins (3-11) began the game with
the worst record in the majors, but broke out of a batting slump in
the fourth inning with four runs, more than they had scored in all
but one game.
Hechavarria’s homer was the Marlins’ first at home this season,
and it ended a nine-game home run drought that had tied the
20-year-old franchise record.
”When I hit the ball, I knew it was out of the ballpark,”
Hechavarria said. ”It was a great feeling.”
A throwing error by Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman – his
fourth in five games – preceded the homer and led to four unearned
Miami’s Justin Ruggiano had two hits and three RBIs, Greg Dobbs
contributed a bases-loaded walk and a run-scoring single, and Juan
Pierre totaled three hits and hiked his average to .222.
Redmond said the homer provided the kick-start the Marlins
”We’ve been waiting for a big hit for a while,” he said. ”We
knew it was going to come. We didn’t know who it was going to come
”It was big for everybody. I think for everybody, it was like,
`All right, here we go’ – a nice sigh and a little bit of
Alex Sanabia (2-1) allowed two runs in six innings, and two
relievers completed an eight-hitter.
The Nationals had been 4-0 against the Marlins this season,
outscoring them 21-4.
”Nice to beat those guys,” Redmond said. ”They’ve kind of had
their way with us so far this year. Nice to put a big number on
Dan Haren (1-2) gave up seven runs, three earned, in 4 1-3
innings. He retired nine in a row before Zimmerman’s error.
”Up to that point I was rolling, but I have to pick the guy
up,” Haren said. ”That’s part of baseball. They pick me up, I
pick them up. I’m sure he feels bad about the home run, but I have
to be able to pick him up.”
As a tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, the
crowd of 16,200 sang along to ”Sweet Caroline” before the bottom
of the eighth inning. The song has been featured at Red Sox home
games since 2002.
Both teams were short-handed, and the Nationals played without
three regulars. Bryce Harper and Denard Span sat out with flu-like
symptoms, and second baseman Danny Espinosa remained sidelined by a
bruised right hand.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton sat out for the fifth
consecutive game because of a bruised left shoulder. He took
batting practice and said he felt better, and might rejoin the
Redmond tweaked the Miami lineup, and Chris Coghlan batted
leadoff for the first time since 2011, with Pierre dropped to
second in the order. The Marlins responded with a season-high run
total and 11 hits.
The Marlins had help. The game was scoreless in the fourth when
Placido Polanco reached with one out on the latest wild throw by
Zimmerman, who underwent right shoulder surgery last offseason.
”The shoulder feels great,” Zimmerman said. ”That’s why it’s
so frustrating. It’s just a matter of me sticking with it and not
mentally getting frustrated.”
Following the error, singles by Dobbs and Ruggiano scored the
first run. Hechavarria, who turned 24 Tuesday, hit a two-out
”I would prefer it happened Monday,” he said with a smile,
”but I’ll take it.”
The rookie shortstop finished 1 for 4, hiking his average to
.184. The homer was his first and the team’s third.
Washington scored twice in the sixth on doubles by Adam LaRoche,
Tyler Moore and Steve Lombardozzi.
NOTES: After the game, the Marlins optioned C Kyle Skipworth to
Triple-A New Orleans. 1B Joe Mahoney will be reinstated from the
disabled list Wednesday. … Marlins reserve OF Austin Kearns
received clearance to play after missing two games and undergoing
tests for an irregular heartbeat. He struck out pinch-hitting in
the sixth. … The Marlins still have no saves. … The Nationals’
Roger Bernadina reached second base in the fifth inning when
Sanabia fielded his tapper and threw wildly, but Bernadina was
ruled out for running inside the first-base line.