One bullpen meltdown followed another.
Only this time, the Marlins emerged on top after more late-inning mayhem.
Two days after they squandered a 4-1 lead in a cataclysmic bullpen blowup at Wrigley Field, the Marlins nearly came unraveled again on Friday night when Fernando Rodney blew an eighth-inning lead.
But the Marlins stormed back with some last-inning magic of their own, scoring four runs in the ninth to overturn a deficit before prevailing 5-3 at Coors Field.
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“The last few innings turned into a little craziness,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
For the first 7 1/2 innings Friday, it was a rare, low-scoring affair at Coors.
The Marlins took a 1-0 lead into the eighth thanks to the pitching of starter David Phelps and most members of their bullpen.
“It’s rare to see a game like this [at Coors],” said Martin Prado, who delivered the big hit for the Marlins in the ninth. “Having a game 1-0 all the way to the eighth, it was pretty impressive.”
Once Rodney entered, though, it all went haywire.
He allowed three runs in the eighth, giving up hits to four of the six batters he faced. Dee Gordon also committed a critical throwing error during the Rockies’ rally.
Rodney has now given up runs in four of his past five outings, while his ERA with the Marlins since coming over in a trade with the Padres has been a dismal 6.46. When the Marlins acquired Rodney, his ERA was 0.31.
But the Marlins came back with four runs in the ninth, as Adeiny Hechavarria and Prado delivered key RBI hits. Hechavarria’s RBI single brought the Marlins to within a run at 3-2 and, after the Rockies walked Gordon intentionally to load the bases with one out, Prado’s two-run single put Miami on top.
“If you see the stats, I’m leading the league in double plays,” Prado said. “That’s one of the things I had in my head. I was just looking to put the ball in play.”
And A.J. Ramos, who blew the save in Wednesday’s loss to the Cubs, bounced back on Friday by delivering a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the victory.
“You’ve got to have a short-term memory because the next game is the most important game,” Ramos said. “I was able to put it behind me.”
The Marlins had to be pleased with Phelps, who was thrust into the rotation and held the Rockies scoreless before coming out after reaching his pitch limit — 70 pitches — with one out in the fifth.
Phelps made 19 starts in 2015 until a stress fracture in his right forearm brought his season to an end. He had spent this season pitching out of the Marlins’ bullpen before injuries and underperformance involving other starters convinced management to give him another stab in the rotation.
Phelps escaped a bases-loaded situation in the second but retired the final six batters he faced, including three on strikeouts.
“It’s as good as I could ask for,” Phelps said. “I knew I wasn’t going to be in there that long. I wanted to get as many innings as I could with the pitch count I was at.”
Phelps said he began mixing in different pitches as the game progressed.
“I started mixing in some changeups and curveballs the second time through the lineup,” Phelps said. “It got them off my fastball. I wasn’t really trusting myself early on.”
The Marlins jumped out to a quick, 1-0 lead in the first when Gordon beat out an infield hit, stole second and scored easily on Giancarlo Stanton’s double. But little else offensively happened for the Marlins after that, as Jorge De La Rosa held them to two hits over the next five innings.
Meanwhile, Ichiro Suzuki remained stuck at 2,998 major-league hits. He struck out looking in the seventh when he was sent up to pinch-hit. Ichiro is now in an 0-for-11 slump.