The smallest home crowd of the season at Marlins Park got to enjoy a little history Tuesday night and a 6-4 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
J.T. Realmuto made the history when he joined Derrek Lee (April 12, 2003) and Hanley Ramirez (Sept. 27, 2006) as the only players in Marlins history to hit an inside-the-park home run and another over the fence in the same game. Realmuto is also the first catcher to accomplish the feat since Hall of Famer Gary Carter with the Montreal Expos in 1980.
The Marlins’ rookie catcher slugged his first one the traditional way in the second inning when he jumped on the first pitch from Brewers starter Taylor Jungmann and drilled it over the left-field wall. Then, Realmuto opened the fourth inning with a scorching, 411-foot line drive to center that bounced high off the top of the wall and away from center fielder Domingo Santana, allowing him to circle the bases easily and record his first multi-homer game in the majors.
“I’m never going to be a big bopper that hits big home runs or anything,” Realmuto said. “I just have to go out there, put good at-bats together and do the small things.”
Rookie reliever Kyle Barraclough picked up the win for Miami (57-81). He came on in relief of starter Adam Conley with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth and struck out four of the five batters he faced, not allowing a run or a base-runner.
Barraclough, acquired in the Steve Cishek trade with the Cardinals, is now 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA this season since the Marlins called him up Aug. 7.
Tuesday’s paid crowd of 14,958 — there were far fewer in actual attendance — was the smallest since 13,444 showed up for a 9-2 Diamondbacks victory Aug. 17, 2013.
The Marlins will open the 2016 season at home April 5 against former Marlin Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers. It’s the first time in franchise history the Marlins will begin the season against an American League opponent.
The Marlins will play the Tigers twice before leaving for Washington.
With the National League East matched up against the American League Central in interleague play next season, the Marlins will also host the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals, while traveling to take on Cleveland, Detroit and Minnesota.
Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria tested his tight left hamstring with some light running Tuesday but said he still felt discomfort.
“Right now I’m around 70 percent,” Hechavarria said. “I think I’ll be back before the season ends. But to rush back from a hamstring isn’t easy. I’m not going to play until I don’t feel it at all.”
Hechavarria hurt himself legging out a bunt single in Atlanta a week ago. He said he had been feeling tightness in the back of his left knee for about two or three weeks prior to that.
A finalist for a Gold Glove award last year, Hechavarria is having a career year at the plate (.281, 5 HRs, 48 RBI) and defensively. He leads the National League and ranks second only to Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier in Defensive Runs Above Average.
Hechavarria also leads all NL shortstops in Ultimate Zone Rating (14.1). He’s currently ahead of Atlanta’s Andrelton Simmons (10.8), the defending Gold Glove winner in the NL at shortstop.
THIS AND THAT
▪ The Marlins named Marc DelPiano their vice president of player development on Tuesday. He replaces Marty Scott, who is expected to move into another position in the front office.
DelPiano, who played collegiate baseball at Broward Community College in 1986 and worked with the Marlins from 2003 to 2005, had been serving as a special assistant to the general manager with Pirates since 2009.
▪ Marlins reliever Carter Capps finally had a pain-free bullpen session Tuesday. The hard-throwing right-hander, who last pitched for the Marlins on Aug. 2, has been on the disabled list with a flexor muscle strain in his forearm.
▪ The Marlins recalled right-hander Scott McGough from Triple A New Orleans and claimed first baseman/outfielder Tommy Medica from the Padres. Medica, 27, hit .233 with nine homers and 27 RBI in 240 at-bats this season with San Diego. A right-handed hitter, he could potentially compete with Justin Bour and Derek Dietrich for the first base job next year in spring training.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (8-13, 4.08) vs. Brewers RHP Ariel Pena (1-0, 6.00), 7:10 p.m.
▪ Thursday: Off.