Marlins notebook

Miami Marlins players have fond memories of Panama

 

mnavarro@MiamiHerald.com

The Marlins returned from Panama late Sunday night with more than fond memories of being a part of a combined no-hit victory over the Yankees.

Left fielder Christian Yelich and a few teammates came home with autographed jerseys of Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter — Yelich’s favorite player growing up.

The Marlins also got to experience a special private tour of the Panama Canal. Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton caught a ceremonial first pitch on Sunday from boxer Roberto Duran.

“We walked across it, which was a little sketchy,” Yelich said. “There was a pretty narrow walkway with water high up on one side. You look on the other side, and it’s about a 100-foot drop into the water. It was kind of windy. We had railings, but a couple guys were a little nervous going across it. We saw a couple ships move through. They filled it up, drained it, moved [the ships] through.”

Left-hander Brad Hand, battling Tom Koehler for the fifth spot in the Marlins rotation, pitched the first five innings of Saturday’s no-hitter and called the experience of playing in front of 27,000 screaming fans with horns, whistles, drums and flags “awesome.”

“I’ve never pitched in winter ball or anything, but that’s what they say winter ball is exactly like,” said Hand, who at one point struck out four Yankees in a row — Brett Gardner, Jeter, Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano.

“They did a little ceremony before the game for Mariano. I was out in the outfield warming up and Enter the Sandman came on, and he came out from right field to throw out the first pitch. Everybody was going crazy. It was like a regular-season game.”

Hand and Yelich said several Marlins players weren’t even aware the team had combined to throw a no-hitter because the part of the stadium scoreboard displaying hits for both teams wasn’t functioning Saturday.

MARLINS BEAT METS

Stanton crushed a three-run home run and Reed Johnson slapped a pinch-hit solo home run as the Marlins beat the Mets for the fifth time this spring, 10-7, on Monday afternoon.

The Marlins, who pounded out 12 hits, slapped Mets starter John Lannan around for eight hits and five earned runs and knocked him out of the game after only 3 1/3 innings. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and first baseman Garrett Jones each had two hits and combined for three RBI.

Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez struck out five, walked two and allowed three hits and one earned run over four innings. He threw 41 of his 66 pitches for strikes.

COMING UP

•  Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jacob Turner (1-1, 4.32 ERA) vs. Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel (2-0, 0.00), 1:05 p.m., Jupiter

•  Wednesday: Off

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