Take it all in: Marlins relish Dan Jennings' first victory after lengthy losing streak
MIAMI -- A manager dismissal. An unconventional managerial hire. Two extra-inning games. Eight straight losses. A controversial no-show charity event.
It has been quite the eventful homestand for the Miami Marlins.
So when Martin Prado produced the walk-off single in the 13th inning of the Marlins' 1-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night, the celebration took on epic proportions.
The entire team raced towards Prado in the infield, showering him with water and crowning him with a bubble gum bucket. Dee Gordon dunked on him during a postgame interview. Afterwards, a few players baptized general manager-turned-manager Dan Jennings with a victory dip in the Clevelander pool.
As Prado held court with reporters in a victorious clubhouse, one blasting music for the first time since beating the Dodgers in Los Angeles on May 13, his Marlins workout tee said it all. The word "chip" lies on the shoulder. After all that negativity, the weight had finally been lifted.
Marlins had a pool party after the game tonight at the Clevelander. pic.twitter.com/k7NzSgC9OT— Matt Lund (@MattCLund) May 24, 2015
"We got -- I believe -- one of the biggest wins for us right now after that tough week-and-a-half," Prado said. "This is a game that makes us believe we're still in this and this is a good start. Trying to get a winning streak from here."
It took a team effort to help the Marlins snap an eight-game skid that tried this ballclub both mentally and physically, dropping them into last in the National League East standings.
Game after game, the breaks didn't go its way on the mound and plate. Routine plays -- like fielding sacrifice bunts -- weren't executed. The bullpen consistently couldn't close out the latter innings. Hitters failed to get that timely hit.
Right-handed reliever Carter Capps, brought back up to the majors on Tuesday with righty Jarred Cosart on the disabled list, collected his first victory as a Marlin and first since 2013.
Capps, acquired in the Logan Morrison trade with the Seattle Mariners, tossed three scoreless innings on 30 pitches, striking out a career-high six batters and allowing just a two-out bloop single in the 13th.
"That was definitely my best big-league outing," Capps said. "I was pretty excited about that. I was feeling good tonight. I knew if I threw my slider in the dirt J.T. (Realmuto) was going to block it. He was great back there tonight. That was great and everything he was calling we were right on the same page. It worked out really well. I ended up feeling good.
"I was just trying to go out there and go for as long as I could. I knew eventually for our hitters it was only a matter of time. They've been getting some bad breaks lately, but we do have a great lineup. I really do believe that. We just finally came through."
Starter Dan Haren, who hadn't walked a batter in four games, grinded through his outing on 115 pitches. He worked out of consecutive jams with two men on and nobody out in the first and second innings.
Haren, a veteran of 13 years, called it "one of the toughest six innings I've ever thrown." In the sixth, Marcell Ozuna threw out the go-ahead run at home on Mike Wright's single. Five relievers -- Sam Dyson, Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris and Capps put up zeroes. Prado collected his sixth career walk-off hit.
Snapping an eight-game skid wasn't going to come easy. It marked the first game in Marlins Park history to head into extras scoreless. The Marlins held Baltimore without a run over 13 frames, tying a club record for longest (Sept. 26, 1998).
"You know what, this is not about me," Jennings said. "I mean, am I thrilled? Absolutely, to have a first win as a manager. You bet, but much more important to me as the manager is to break an eight-game losing streak and watch what these guys have done and to see them fight and battle and have to win a very tough ballgame against a good team."
Added Prado: "It's been a tough week-and-a-half for everybody. Just the way that everybody takes care of business here -- everybody's so happy that this week it was so long for all of us because everybody is trying so hard to win the game and do everything we can to come through in a big situation. Everybody was trying to be a hero, but sometimes it doesn't happen. This game was a team win. This is not about me. Everybody did their part."