Maybe moving Isan Diaz down in the lineup is all the Miami Marlins needed to do to help him start re-gaining his confidence.
At the very least, it put him in a key position in a much-needed rally in the third inning — the first of two — as the Marlins erased a seven-run deficit and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 19-11 on Friday to start a three-game series. It ties the largest deficit the Marlins (46-81) have erased to come back and win a game.
The 19 runs are also a season-high output for the Marlins and the third most they have scored in a game in franchise history. The other two: A 22-10 win over the Texas Rangers on July 26, 2017, and a 20-1 win over the Atlanta Braves on July 1, 2003.
Starlin Castro hit two home runs and drove in five off the bench. Harold Ramirez, Jorge Alfaro, Jon Berti and Neil Walker each had three hits. Castro, Ramirez and Lewis Brinson each scored three runs. Castro and Berti capped Miami’s scoring with back-to-back home runs in a four-run eighth inning.
And Diaz capped what could be one of the Marlins’ most memorable rallies of the season. Facing a full count, he blasted a 94.3 mph fastball from Vince Velasquez 361 feet over the right-field wall for a game-tying three-run home run. It was his 10th career hit and second career home run.
It capped a seven-run, game-tying third inning for the Marlins, who quickly fell behind 7-0 after another rough start by pitcher Hector Noesi (seven earned runs in three innings).
Just how improbable was this rally? According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in franchise history the Marlins needed just one inning to overcome a deficit of at least seven runs.
Also consider the fact the Marlins had scored fewer than seven runs in each game of their six-game road trip heading into Friday.
Nevertheless, it happened.
The full sequence: Brinson hit by pitch, Martin Prado pinch-hit flyout, Berti single, Walker single, Brian Anderson bases-loaded hit by pitch, Garrett Cooper first-pitch RBI single, Ramirez first-pitch two-run single and Diaz three-run home run.
The homer also came after Diaz had a road trip to forget. The 23-year-old rookie second baseman, who homered off Jacob deGrom in his MLB debut on Aug. 4 after belting out 26 long balls in Triple A New Orleans, went 1 for 20 with seven strikeouts and committed six errors defensively in the Marlins’ three-game sweeps at the hands of the Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly moved Diaz down from second in the lineup to sixth on Friday in an attempt to take some pressure off the rookie and hope he would relax as he finishes up his third week at the MLB level.
The Marlins rallied again with a five-run fifth inning after going down by two shortly after tying the game. Walker’s two-out, two-run double to right-center field gave the Marlins their first lead of the game. The first two runs of the inning came in to tie the game on a Castro groundball that Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco bobbled. Curtis Granderson added an RBI single.
The bullpen threw six strong innings after Noesi barely made it through three frames.
Anderson left the game after the third inning with a left-hand contusion following the hit by pitch.
He is considered day-to-day.
Marlins pitchers did not allow a home run Friday, snapping a franchise-record streak of 23 consecutive games dating back to July 29.