Marlins get ready for home opener
The Miami Marlins can only shake their heads after this one.
A 14-inning marathon on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies that saw quality pitching for the first 13 came to a harrowing end.
The dagger: A two-run home run from Jean Segura off Wei-Yin Chen one at-bat after an Andrew McCutchen triple, who missed a home run of his own down the left-field line by a few feet.
It sealed the 3-1 Phillies win and secured the Marlins’ fifth consecutive series loss to open the season.
“I’m sure confidence-wise, it can’t be good,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Chen, who has now given up 13 earned runs and five home runs in five innings of work out of the bullpen. “Spring wasn’t good. It hasn’t been a good start. I think anyone in that situation would have their confidence waver a little bit. He’s been around and he’s been through it, so I expect him to bounce out of it.”
The Marlins’ attempt to rally in the bottom half of the inning fell short. Neil Walker led off the inning with a single, just their fifth hit of the game and first since the eighth inning, but a Starlin Castro fielder’s choice and Austin Dean grounded into a double play to end it.
The Marlins (4-12) struck out 18 times throughout the game and 10 times in the five extra frames.
It upended Jose Urena’s most productive start of the year. After three rough outings to begin the year, the righty went a season-long seven innings, scattering seven hits while striking out seven and not allowing a walk. The lone run he surrendered was a solo home run to Cesar Hernandez in the fourth that barely poked over the right-field wall. He lowered his ERA from 9.22 to 6.53 with the quality start.
At that point, though, it looked like one run might be enough for the Phillies (9-5), who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning behind starter Vince Velasquez one day after the Marlins recorded a season-high 18 hits in their 10-3 win to even up the series.
Brian Anderson put an end to those worries with one out in the frame, tying the game with a solo home run to left-center field. It was his second home run in as many day and extended his hitting streak to four games, during which time he is 7-for-14 with four walks.
The home run came a half-inning after the Marlins made one of the top defensive plays of the game. With Bryce Harper on second, Rhys Hoskins poked a single into left field. Harper rounded third and looked to extend Philadelphia’s lead to two, but a relay throw from Curtis Granderson to shortstop JT Riddle to catcher Chad Wallach made it to home plate just in time for Wallach to extend his arm out and apply the back-handed tag.
Drew Steckenrider, Sergio Romo, Tayron Guerrero, Tyler Kinley, Adam Conley and Nick Anderson provided quality relief for Urena, combining for six shutout innings before Chen gave up the go-ahead home run.