Miami Marlins

Marlins cap off winning trip but lose another pitcher in the process

Miami Marlins' Derek Dietrich, left, crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run as Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy looks on in the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 24, 2018, in Denver.
Miami Marlins' Derek Dietrich, left, crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run as Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy looks on in the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 24, 2018, in Denver.

The Marlins closed out a winning road trip on Sunday.

But they lost another starting pitcher in the process when Caleb Smith injured his left shoulder in the Marlins’ 8-5 win over the Colorado Rockies, further depleting a rotation that was reeling from an injury to one of its other starters and a possible suspension to still another.

Smith is scheduled for a MRI on Monday and will be placed on the disabled list.

"It's super disappointing," Smith said. "The DL is the last place I want to be. I want to be able to go out there every fifth day and help my team out, give them a chance to win. And I'm not going to be able to do that for a little while."

The Marlins termed the injury as "muscle tightness," but testing will determine whether it's more than that. The Marlins plan to recall Ben Meyer from Triple A New Orleans to fill Smith's roster spot.

Derek Dietrich’s near-historical day at the plate and the conclusion of the Marlins’ 5-4 road trip was tempered by the injury to Smith, a rookie who has been the team’s best starter this season.

Dietrich went 4 for 5, drove in two runs, and lacked only a triple from becoming the first Marlin to hit for the cycle. The Marlins are the only team in the majors that have never had a player accomplish the feat.

Dietrich doubled in the first inning, homered in the second and singled in the third. But he batted only twice more, striking out in the fifth and collecting another single in the seventh.

"Of course I was thinking about the triple," Dietrich said. "I know that this park has the most cycles in baseball. So, yeah, I was thinking about it a little bit. I don't think you can force a triple."

Dietrich is hitting .390 for the month of June.

"About halfway through the season last year, he finally quit making all the big changes (with his swing) and just stuck with something," said manager Don Mattingly of Dietrich's improvement. "He's a changer. He wants to change things all the time. His swing's too good for that and we finally got him to kind of stay in check, stay in place."

The Marlins jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and, after the Rockies came back to tie it in the third, took the lead for good in the fourth on JT Riddle's RBI double and Cameron Maybin's ground ball out.

Kyle Barraclough worked the ninth for his seventh save. Barraclough extended his streak of not allowing a hit to 11 2/3 innings, putting him within close proximity of Armando Benitez's club record of 14 1/3 consecutive hitless innings in 2004.

The Marlins have lost two starting pitchers to shoulder injuries within the past three days while another, Dan Straily, is awaiting a verdict on his appeal of a five-game league suspension.

Jose Urena was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a right shoulder impingement. Mattingly said that his spot would be taken by Elieser Hernandez.

Straily is still scheduled to start Monday in Miami but could lose a future turn in the rotation once the league renders a final decision on his suspension.

While the Marlins listed Smith as “day to day,” his body language Sunday did not signal a short-term injury absence. Smith hopped on the follow-through of his 31st pitch. And he held his left arm stiffly to his side as he walked back to the dugout after being taken out. He said he first felt something in his shoulder in the process of striking out Tom Murphy. He came out after throwing one pitch to the next batter, Gerardo Parra.

"He's going to get more testing tomorrow," Mattingly said. "I think you always want to wait until you see the images. Hopefully this thing comes out pretty simple and nothing complicated where it's long term. But it means an opportunity for someone else."

Smith, a rookie the Marlins acquired along with Garrett Cooper from the Yankees over the winter in exchange for international draft pool money, has been a pleasant addition for them. He leads all Marlins starters with five wins and 4.19 ERA.

NOTE: Infielder Miguel Rojas said he will undergo a CT scan on his ailing left hand in Miami on Monday. Rojas, whose hand was struck by a pitch in Baltimore at the start of the road trip, did not play the final two games of the Colorado series due to lingering soreness.

Rojas was unable to swing a bat Saturday and was a late scratch from the lineup. But he said Sunday the hand felt somewhat better.

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