Cheers sounded throughout Marlins Park when the replay was shown on the center-field screen. The hopes of Miami fans had been confirmed, they thought. Dee Gordon hadn’t been picked off, and the call of safe would stand.
Then the umpires took off their headsets and one of them held up a fist.
The collective cheer was replaced with a chorus of boos as Gordon trotted to the dugout along with the other two Marlins baserunners. The out ended a bases-loaded, two-out, Giancarlo Stanton-up situation and, as it turned out, also extinguished Miami’s hopes of winning the game.
“The play kinda speaks for itself,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s not a great baseball play.”
It happened in the fifth inning, and it was as close as the Marlins (17-30) got to taking the lead from the Angels in their 5-2 loss on Saturday.
Nevertheless, Mattingly said he wasn’t too upset with how his team played.
“In general we hung in there,” he said, “and it was one of those games where we had a chance to win.”
However, Miami just didn’t have that many chances. Aside from the bases-loaded fifth inning, the Marlins only left two runners on base.
Mattingly credits the Angels’ pitching staff for that, adding that he thought his players put together some decent at-bats, even if the results didn’t show it.
The only Marlins player who had a successful day at the plate was Marcell Ozuna, who homered to go with two other hits. No other Marlins player had more than one hit.
“That’s concentration,” Ozuna said of his homer, “and giving my team my everything.”
The home run happened in the bottom of the ninth, with Miami trailing 5-1. Shortstop J.T. Riddle followed it with a double, and even though it wasn’t enough to win Mattingly was impressed with how his team fought.
“We’ve had some games where that last inning just seems like give-away at-bats,” he said. “I didn’t think they were there.”
Meanwhile, on the mound, starter Vance Worley tossed five innings and gave up two earned runs in his second start of the season. Mattingly said he was pleased with Worley because he gave the Marlins a chance.
He was removed after 63 pitches when an opportunity came to tie the game and Mattingly opted to pinch hit. He also took the loss.
“I feel pretty good about the outing,” Worley said. “Obviously, there’s just the one pitch I wish I could get back. But aside from that, I thought I kept the team in it.”
The “one pitch” he’s referring to came in the first inning. After Worley had recorded a quick pair of outs, Los Angeles outfielder Mike Trout launched a ball toward the Budweiser bar in left field to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.
“He got me good,” Worley said, “and I made sure he didn’t get anything too good to swing at next time.”
Worley responded by striking Trout out in his next at-bat.
The Marlins also responded to his homer, scoring in the bottom of the first off an error by Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons. His throw ended up out of play in the camera well, which allowed Christian Yelich to score from first.
The tie didn’t last, though, thanks to former Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin.
In the third inning, he tripled down the right-field line and scored on an RBI groundout to give the Angels a 2-1 lead. The Marlins never recovered.
“It was a game that was obviously a close game,” Mattingly said, “and it kind of got away from us.”