Not long after finding out they won’t have Giancarlo Stanton in their lineup for the rest of the regular season, the Marlins beat one of baseball’s best aces.
The Marlins’ depleted lineup mustered enough offense to beat All-Star Chris Sale and deny the White Sox a three-game sweep with a 5-4 victory at Marlins Park.
“I like the fact that everybody was so aware of the situation,” Martin Prado said. “We knew we needed to grind this game out.”
Fernando Rodney gave up a solo home run to Tim Anderson in the top of the ninth, and nearly the lead after the White Sox tagged him for four hits.
But on that fourth hit by Tyler Saladino, Christian Yelich saved the Marlins (61-56) from defeat with a great throw from left field to retire pinch runner Carlos Sanchez at the plate. The White Sox challenged the call, but it was upheld, sealing Rodney’s third save as a Marlin and 20th overall.
“That was pretty cool, and we needed that one,” Yelich said. “Sale is a great pitcher. It’s no secret we’ve been kind of scuffing lately so winning that one was huge.”
Prado’s RBI single in the bottom of the seventh scored Adeiny Hechavarria and put the Marlins ahead for good. Marcell Ozuna added a run two batters later with a single off former Marlin Jacob Turner.
Ozuna, who entered the game mired in a 1-for-28 slump, recorded two hits including a double in the second inning.
“It’s been a rough series for us and not a great homestand because it seemed like every close game was going against us,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “To get this one today was obviously big for us.”
That hit was one of only two allowed by Sale, the American League’s starting pitcher in this year’s All-Star Game, through the first four innings.
Robert Andino opened the fifth with the first of four consecutive singles that produced three runs and gave the Marlins a 3-2 edge.
Andino, a 32-year old infielder out of Miami Southridge, flew from Las Vegas to Miami with a stopover in Atlanta after getting the call up from Triple-A late Saturday night following Stanton’s injury.
Andino went straight from the airport to Marlins Park and played in his first major-league game since May 2013 with Seattle.
With the bases loaded after Jeff Mathis and Hechavarria each hit singles, Tom Koehler lined a fastball off Sale’s foot that ricocheted over shortstop Tim Anderson and allowed two runs to score.
Sale threw 110 pitches in 6 2/3 innings, and allowed five runs on eight hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Koehler went six innings, but gave up three runs on six hits, struck out five and walked one and did not factor in the decision.
After only giving up two runs in his past four starts combined, Koehler gave up two in the first inning Sunday. Adam Eaton smacked the game’s first pitch off the right field foul pole for a solo home run. Two batters later Melky Cabrera doubled, and Jose Abreu followed with a single to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead.
Koehler would retire 14 of the next 15 batters he faced until the sixth inning when the White Sox tied the game at 3 on a fortunate bounce that resulted in a run-scoring double by Abreu.
With one out and Saladino at second, Abreu hit a low bouncer up the third base line that bounced off the bag and into foul ground away from Prado. The awkward bounce allowed Saladino to score.
Monday: Marlins RHP David Phelps (5-6, 2.40 ERA) vs. Reds LHP Brandon Finnegan (7-8, 4.45 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ballpark.
Tuesday: Marlins TBA vs. Reds RHP Anthony DeSclafani (6-1, 3.11 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Great American Ballpark.