One of the ugliest weeks in Marlins history ended with a dramatic win and a joyous celebration on Saturday night — even if it took nearly four hours and 13 innings to get a victory that had proven so elusive.
The Marlins snapped an eight-game losing streak — getting Dan Jennings his first win as manager in the process — defeating the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 on Saturday night at Marlins Park.
Third baseman Martin Prado was the hero, ripping a single to the gap in right-center that scored shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, who had been thrown out at the plate to end the 10th inning.
This time, though, Hechavarria scored from third easily, and the Marlins players erupted from the dugout to celebrate, drenching Prado with water bottles. It was Prado’s sixth career walk-off hit and his first with the Marlins.
“It’s a tremendous weight [lifted off the players],” Jennings said, “being able to have a little fun and initiate their manager and do the things they did to me, which was the greatest, dirtiest bath I’ve ever had.”
Jennings, who was delayed in meeting the media because he had to change out of his jersey and into a pullover that read “305,” said he wasn’t sure what the players did to him in the clubhouse.
“They got me from behind, and the shaving cream pretty much blocked my vision,” he said with a smile. “We were in the clubhouse and then went over to the Clevelander.”
Hechavarria started the rally when he drew a walk and went to third on a two-out single to right by Marcell Ozuna. After Giancarlo Stanton was walked intentionally, Prado got his hit on a 1-1 pitch from lefty reliever T.J. McFarland.
The Marlins (17-27) also snapped a nine-game home losing streak. They were already off to a slow start this season, but things started to fall apart last Sunday when they came within one out of being no-hit by Braves right-hander Shelby Miller. Manager Mike Redmond was fired right after the game, and Jennings, who hadn’t coached since he led the Davidson High School Warriors in Mobile in the mid-1980s, took over … and the losing continued.
Until Saturday, when the Marlins shut down the Orioles (19-21), using six pitchers in the process.
Neither starting pitcher got a decision, although both pitched well. Marlins right-hander Dan Haren pitched six shutout innings, allowing seven hits and three walks. Despite the no-decision, he still leads the Marlins with four wins and lowered his ERA to 3.09.
Haren had a runner reach second base in five of the six innings he worked. In three of those five innings, there were no outs with a runner on second. After Haren, the Marlins got scoreless innings from Sam Dyson, Mike Dunn, A.J. Ramos and Bryan Morris. Carter Capps (1-0) then pitched three scoreless innings to earn the victory.
Orioles right-hander Mike Wright pitched seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and three walks. The 25-year-old rookie has made two big-league starts, both this month, and has yet to allow a run in 141/3 innings. Wright did not allow a runner to get to second base until the fifth inning.
He also singled up the middle in the sixth, giving Baltimore its best early scoring chance. But Ozuna threw out Travis Snider, who tried to score from second on the single. Ozuna’s strong throw did not bounce, and rookie catcher J.T. Realmuto made the tag on a close play to end the inning.
The Marlins almost won it in the 10th when Hechavarria singled, advanced to second on pinch-hitter Donovan Solano’s single and went to third on a groundout. With Ozuna at the plate, Orioles reliever Oliver Drake threw a pitch in the dirt that was blocked by catcher Caleb Joseph. Hechavarria took off for home — even as Ozuna held up a hand as a stop sign — and Joseph flipped the ball to Drake, who made the tag on another close play.