Marlins notebook

Miami Marlins players brace for big chill in Minnesota

 
 
Miami Marlins first baseman Joe Mahoney reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on April 21, 2013. The Reds won 10-6.
Miami Marlins first baseman Joe Mahoney reacts after striking out to end the seventh inning in a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on April 21, 2013. The Reds won 10-6.
Michael E. Keating / AP

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

Miami’s cold bats won’t be warming up any in Minnesota, at least not literally.

The Marlins are bracing for extremely frigid weather Monday when they open a two-game set at Target Field in Minneapolis against the Twins.

Monday’s game-time forecast: temperatures in the low 30s, winds gusting at 15 mph and an 80 percent chance of rain and snow.

Yes, snow.

“Ball’s white. Snow’s white,” Marlins reliever Chad Qualls said. “Maybe it’ll help us out.”

Ricky Nolasco, who was born and raised in Southern California and is the starter Monday night, is preparing for the worst.

“I’m just trying to survive [Monday],” Nolasco said. “Baseball was not meant to be played in that weather.”

The lowest game-time temperature for any game Nolasco has ever started was 42 degrees when he faced the Pirates in Pittsburgh in April of 2009. He lost that game.

Nolasco said he intends to apply a product to his pitching arm that will keep it warm.

“[I’ll put on] a lot of the Hot Stuff on the arm, the cream that keeps your arm loose,” he said. “I’ll have to lube that up nice and thick.”

Some Marlins are questioning why they’re playing the Twins in Minnesota in April but hosting them in Miami in June, instead of the other way around.

The coldest game in Marlins history: April 8, 1997, at Wrigley Field in Chicago when the temperature was 29 degrees.

No catching Olivo

His pride bruised after being lifted for pinch-runner Rob Brantly on Saturday, catcher Miguel Olivo challenged him to a foot race — and won. Olivo defeated Brantly in two heats of about 40 yards Sunday morning at Great American Ball Park before the Marlins faced the Reds.

The loss came at a price for Brantly.

“I told him if he beat me, I’d give him $1,000,” Olivo said. “But if I beat you, you take care of all the luggage for everybody in the hotel. And he will. He will carry the luggage for the whole team.”

After singling in the 10th inning Saturday, Olivo was replaced on the base paths by Brantly.

“It surprised me a little bit,” Olivo said of the coaching decision.

• Saturday’s 3-2 loss in 13 innings snapped a five-game winning streak for the Marlins in games of 12 or more innings.

• By striking out 12 batters over the final eight innings Saturday, Marlins relievers set a franchise record for the bullpen. It was the most reliever strikeouts in either an extra-inning or nine-inning game, breaking the old mark of 10, accomplished three times previously.

Coming up

•  Monday: Marlins RHP Nolasco (0-2, 3.86 ERA) at Minnesota Twins RHP Kevin Correia (1-1, 2.95), 8:10 p.m., Target Field.

•  Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (0-1, 3.60) at Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-1, 7.30), 1:10 p.m., Target Field.

•  Scouting report: The Marlins will be making only their second visit to Minnesota and first to Target Field. The Twins took two out of three from the Marlins in the Metrodome during the 2002 season. The two-game sets start off the interleague season for the Marlins, who have gone 140-130 against American League teams. Their .519 winning percentage in interleague games is the best among National League teams.

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