Marlins 2, tigers 1 (10)

Miami Marlins awaken late to beat Detroit Tigers again

 

After getting shut down through eight innings, the Marlins pushed across runs in the ninth and 10th to steal a victory.

cspencer@MiamiHerald.com

Ed Lucas’ wife delivered their first child Friday.

On Saturday, Lucas — down to his last strike — delivered a game-tying hit with two outs in the ninth before Giancarlo Stanton delivered a 2-1 triumph over the Tigers in the 10th with a bases-loaded single.

The Marlins loaded the bases in the 10th when Tigers reliever Evan Reed, a former Marlins farmhand, walked two batters and drilled another — Donovan Solano — in the head with a fastball. Solano appeared dazed but walked off under his own power.

It was another night of homecomings for former Marlins, namely Tigers pitcher Anibal Sanchez. Sanchez didn’t find Marlins Park to his liking a year ago before the Marlins traded him to Detroit. He was 2-5 with a 5.20 ERA in nine starts there.

But Sanchez looked right at home Saturday when he delivered five scoreless innings against his former team, locking up the American League ERA title in front of a crowd of 28,750, the largest since the home opener in April. Sanchez has a 2.57 ERA.

And he is looking like a bargain for the Tigers, who obtained Sanchez and second baseman Omar Infante last July from the Marlins for Rob Brantly, Jacob Turner and Brian Flynn. The Tigers were so impressed with Sanchez after he arrived in Detroit in the July 23 deal that they rewarded him following the season with a five-year contract for $80 million.

The Marlins managed only a pair of singles off Sanchez in his five-inning outing. Sanchez struck out eight, including three in his final frame. Infante had a pair of singles while another former Marlin, Miguel Cabrera, collected two more hits to go with the two he had the night before.

Having clinched a playoff berth, Tigers manager Jim Leyland — yet another former Marlin — substituted liberally to rest up his starts for the postseason. Thus, Cabrera and Prince Fielder were taken out long before the outcome was settled.

It appeared the Tigers were headed for a 1-0 victory when the Marlins rallied in the ninth after Christian Yelich singled with two outs and later scored on Lucas’ single up the middle on a 2-2 pitch from Joaquin Benoit.

• One of Dan Jennings’ top missions, assuming he is handed control of baseball operations for the Marlins, will be to pump more resources into scouting and player development, sources said.

“I think that’s definitely one area he’s going to aggressively address,” one Major League Baseball source said.

Most signs are pointing to Jennings taking over for Larry Beinfest, who was fired Friday as president of baseball operations. Sources said Jennings has already started reaching out to potential job candidates to help build his staff.

Jennings, who is currently the Marlins’ assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel, has his background rooted in player development. He worked previously in scouting for the Reds, Mariners and Rays before joining the Marlins in 2002.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria met Saturday with general manager Michael Hill to discuss his role in the front office shakeup.

• Jose Fernandez was named the Marlins’ Most Valuable Player by local baseball writers. Fernandez is the first rookie to receive the honor and only the third pitcher, joining Bryan Harvey (1993) and Dontrelle Willis (2005). Fernandez, 21, went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA in his first season with the Marlins.

Fernandez was also selected as the team’s Rookie of the Year by members of the Miami chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The writer’s group also honored catcher Jeff Mathis as the recipient of the Jeff Conine “Mr. Marlin” award, which is given to a player who embodies the spirit of the game through integrity and selfless play. Closer Steve Cishek was this year’s Charlie Hough “Good Guy,” which goes to a player who fosters a positive relationship with the media.

The players will be presented with their awards in an on-field ceremony before Sunday’s game.

Coming up

•  Sunday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (4-6, 3.94 ERA) vs. Detroit Tigers RHP Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.56), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

•  Scouting report: Alvarez has a chance to become only the second Marlins pitcher with at least 20 at-bats to finish the season with a .300-or-better average. Alvarez takes a .333 (9 for 27) average into Sunday. Jason Vargas hit .308 for the Marlins in 2005.

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