It was the best of innings. It was the worst of innings.
The Marlins set a franchise record by reeling off nine consecutive hits in the seventh inning in Saturday’s 14-3 victory over Cincinnati.
But they lost All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon in the process.
Gordon dislocated his left thumb when he slid headfirst into first base on an infield hit to start the inning. As a result, he won’t be heading to Cincinnati for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
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With fellow All-Star Giancarlo Stanton already on the disabled list, the Marlins will not be represented at the Midsummer Classic for the second time in four years.
Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was chosen as Gordon’s replacement by Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who is managing the National League All-Stars.
“The fortunate part of it is that nothing’s broken,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of Gordon’s injury. “We’ll see the level of soreness he’s dealing with. But there appears to be no ligament damage, which is a blessing in itself.”
Jennings said it’s too early to tell whether Gordon will end up on the disabled list or how quickly he can be expected to return.
But he and Gordon said that he was able to move his thumb slightly after it was reset.
“There’s definitely some relief that it’s not as [bad] as it could have been,” Gordon said. “It’s just sore. I was moving it around afterward, so hopefully it’s not that bad.”
It was just one more blow for team that has been plagued by injuries all season.
The Marlins have already seen four starting position players, four starting pitchers, one reliever and two backup position players end up on the disabled list at one time or another.
On Saturday, they sent out rookie left-hander Adam Conley for an emergency start in place of Mat Latos, who was scratched because of a foot injury. Conley became the 11th different starter the Marlins have used already this season — a team record before the All-Star break.
Conley recorded the win in what was the his first big-league start, thanks in large part to substantial run support and spectacular defensive work, the highlight of which was a sensational, no-look, over-the-shoulder catch in deep center by Cole Gillespie, reminiscent of Willie Mays’ memorable World Series catch.
The Marlins scored five runs in the fifth, then hung up eight more in a bittersweet seventh inning in which the first nine batters — even including reliever Mike Dunn — reached safely on hits.
That broke the team record of eight consecutive hits set on May 15, 1998.
It all started when Gordon tried to beat out an infield single by sliding hands-first into the bag. Although he was successful in reaching, he caught his thumb on the base.
“I just hit the base, and I was, like, ‘Ah, man,’ ” Gordon said. “I think I hit my thumb. I looked down and it was [disfigured].”
Gordon, who leads the Marlins with a .338 average, came out immediately, throwing his helmet in frustration when he entered the dugout.
But with Gordon gone, the rest of the lineup kept on going.
Christian Yelich and Adeiny Hechavarria followed Gordon with singles, Justin Bour doubled, Casey McGehee singled, Gillespie singled, J.T. Realmuto homered, Ichiro Suzuki singled, and Dunn capped off the outburst with his first big-league hit, a single up the middle.
“It was a weird inning,” said McGehee, who has three hits in his two games since re-signing with the Marlins on Friday.
Gordon, Gillespie and Realmuto each had three hits Saturday.
But the offensive eruption came at a costly price.
Gordon and Stanton, each of whom was voted onto the All-Star team as a starter, will now watch from home as spectators. It will not be the first time no one from the Marlins is on the All-Star team.
In 2012, there were no players from the Marlins at the All-Star Game after Stanton, their only selection, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery just before that season’s game.
Marlins president David Samson was upset with the latest snub, just as he was in 2012. He and Jennings both felt that Hechavarria should have been chosen as the injury replacement for Gordon, just to ensure that an active Marlin was on the team.
“Fans should have an opportunity to see an active player from every team, and that’s wrong,” Samson said. “In this case, we have a shortstop who is very deserving in Hechavarria.”
▪ Conley was optioned back to Triple A New Orleans following Saturday’s game. The Marlins will recall infielder Donovan Solano in time for Sunday’s game.