The backups are coming through for the Marlins.
On Friday night, it was Tyler Moore’s turn to help make the Marlins forget about all the injuries to their infielders, bashing two home runs in their 12-7 victory over the Pirates.
Moore, who is filling in for first baseman Justin Bour, drove in four runs, one day after backup third baseman Derek Dietrich was the hitting star for Miami.
Rookie shortstop J.T. Riddle has filled in nicely for Adeiny Hechavarria, too.
With three-fourths of their starting infield on the disabled list, the Marlins could have easily faded into oblivion. Instead, after a dismal May, they are holding their own with 10 wins in their past 13 games.
“May looked like a death blow,” said manager Don Mattingly, shaking his head at a disastrous month that turned the Marlins upside down. “We took some pretty good hits there in May and didn’t play well at all.”
The Marlins are showing some signs of renewed life lately, though, perhaps enough to hold off the trade vultures for a little while longer.
Pitching certainly didn’t propel them on Friday at PNC Park. Starter Vance Worley was yanked in the fourth inning and the staff as a whole gave up 13 hits, six walks and hit a batter. Marlins pitchers also uncorked three wild pitches.
Not even the 12-5 lead they took into the ninth was safe. Brian Ellington walked the first two batters and gave up a hit before Mattingly was forced to yank him and dig deeper into his bullpen. At one point, he phoned down to have closer A.J. Ramos begin warming.
For the Marlins, it was all about the bats.
Moore, who drove in a pair of runs with two doubles in Thursday’s win, drove in the game’s first run on Friday with a sacrifice fly. His two-run shot off Tyler Glasnow in the third gave the Marlins a 5-1 lead. Moore added a solo shot in the seventh.
“It was just an awesome night,” Moore said. “I’ll remember it forever. You don’t hit two very often.”
It was Moore’s second two-homer game. The other came in 2012 at Toronto when he was with the Nationals.
“Tyler’s had a chance to play here the past few days; he’s been really good,” Mattingly said.
Not that it was all about the backups.
Giancarlo Stanton walloped a tape-measure shot that cleared the batter’s eye in center. One estimate measured the home run at 449 feet. Another had it at 465.
The ball struck a railing atop the batter’s eye and bounced back on the field.
“I tried to get it out of the stadium,” Stanton said, tongue in cheek. “It popped back in.”
Stanton said he tried hitting the ball over the green batter’s eye in batting practice but failed repeatedly.
“I was trying to get it over there in B.P. and couldn’t do it,” Stanton said. “I couldn’t get the right one.”
Stanton did, however, launch a batting practice pitch into the Allegheny River.