Henderson Alvarez received his first taste of Coors Field. He’s probably not hankering for a second helping anytime soon.
The same can’t be said for Marlins hitters.
They reveled in the friendly confines of Coors, where they unleashed a 16-hit, nine-walk attack in a 13-5 victory. It was the most runs scored by Miami since they rang up 14 in a win over the Phillies on May 21.
And just as he did in that May 21 win, Marcell Ozuna connected on a grand slam on Friday, as well as drive in a career-high five runs.
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It was an enjoyable night for most everyone except for Alvarez, who was put to the test at high elevation but somehow managed to survive.
"It's crazy," Alvarez said of the ballpark. "I was a little short of breath out there."
Making his first career start in Colorado, Alvarez was initiated to the Coors effect, giving up 10 hits, including a pair of two-run homers.
"It happens here," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond.
But the Marlins’ hitters found the ballpark to their liking as well, and provided their All-Star pitcher with more than enough support to open the series on a winning note.
Ozuna drove in five runs on three hits, Jeff Baker collected three hits, including a pair of doubles, Giancarlo Stanton reached base five times, and pretty much everyone in the lineup, Alvarez included, contributed in some manner.
The win over last-place Colorado got the Marlins (64-63) back above .500, and kept them four games out in the National League wild card race.
It just involved a bit more offense than the Marlins are used to dealing with -- on both sides of the scoresheet.
Not once did Alvarez pitch a clean inning, as the Rockies kept the pressure on him from the first inning through the sixth. Fortunately for Alvarez, they never inflicted enough damage to completely knock him off the rails.
Alvarez has now won each of his past four starts, including both outings since coming off the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. But he had to fight for everything on Friday.
It marked only the third time this season that Alvarez gave up as many as 10 hits, and also the third time he surrendered two home runs.
The four runs were the most allowed by Alvarez since July 11, his final start before the All-Star break.
Still, once again, the Marlins prevailed when Alvarez was their pitcher. They have gone 17-7 in his 24 starts.
The night didn’t start out like the hits would pile up.
Rockies starter Franklin Morales needed only six pitches to strike out Christian Yelich and Baker to start the game. But after Stanton broke the ice with a two-out single, the pitchers took a back seat the rest of the game. It was the first of Stanton’s three hits.
The Marlins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second and increased it to 4-0 in the third on a RBI double from Stanton and sacrifice fly by Marcell Ozuna.
After Justin Morneau belted a two-run homer off Alvarez in the third, the Marlins got the two runs back in the fifth on a pair of bases-loaded walks, one to Casey McGehee and the other to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Corey Dickerson’s two-out, two-run homer off Alvarez in the fifth trimmed the lead to 6-4.
The Marlins got a run back in the seventh on Donovan Solano’s double and added two more runs in the ninth on Stanton’s two-run single.
Stanton now has 92 RBI.
The Marlins put the game out of reach in the ninth with six runs, matching a season high.
Ozuna capped it off with his second grand slam of the season.