There’s the World Series.
And then there’s the Worst Series.
The Red Sox reigned inferior to the Marlins in a battle of the teams in possession of the poorest records in the American League and National League, respectively, blowing a 4-0 lead before losing 5-4 in 10 innings Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
After Dee Gordon opened the 10th with a triple into the left-center gap, Justin Bour’s walk-off single brought Gordon home for the Marlins’ second straight win — their first winning streak of as many as two games since a three-game win streak that ended July 23.
The four-run comeback was the largest this season by the Marlins.
“To battle back from a 4-0 deficit was outstanding,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said.
It was not a shining performance by either last-place team.
Boston pitchers walked nine batters (one intentionally) to go with the 12 hits they allowed. But the Marlins didn’t make the most of them early on, unable to get on the board until the sixth against Red Sox knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright.
Twice the Marlins left the bases loaded without scoring and, altogether, they stranded 16 runners.
Marlins pitchers, on the other hand, failed to record a strikeout until the eighth when Kendry Flores, one of three Miami rookies who toed the slab, whiffed Xander Bogaerts to begin the inning.
The Red Sox had a 4-0 lead, with all the scoring coming off Marlins starter Justin Nicolino, who was called up Tuesday from Triple A New Orleans. Nicolino, making just his third big-league start, made it into the sixth before turning the ball over to the bullpen. Nicolino failed to record a strikeout while giving up four runs on eight hits.
But the Marlins began chipping away at Boston’s lead by coming up with two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh to make it 4-3.
The Marlins tied it in the ninth when J.T. Realmuto and Ichiro Suzuki reached on consecutive one-out singles before advancing on a wild pitch by Boston reliever Junichi Tazawa. Adeiny Hechavarria’s sacrifice fly scored Realmuto to tie the score.
With runners at second and third and one out, Bour won it in the 10th, driving the ball with an opposite-field shot into left-center. It was Bour’s second walk-off hit of the season.
“Honestly, the pressure is on the pitcher at that point,” Bour said.
Prior to that point, the Marlins’ bullpen was exceptional.
After Nicolino was lifted with two outs in the sixth, five Marlins relievers combined to retired all 13 Boston hitters they faced.
“Each pitcher, one out at a time,” said Mike Dunn, who contributed in the bullpen’s perfect outing.
Said Jennings: “Just an outstanding job tip and down that bullpen, picking each other up.”
FERNANDEZ TO CARRY ON
Jose Fernandez quickly and emphatically put to rest any thoughts of shutting down the rest of the season when he told reporters during batting practice Tuesday that he fully intended to pitch again.
“As long as I’m healthy, I’m coming back,” Fernandez said without hesitation. “It doesn’t matter our record. I really don’t see it as an injury. Probably the arm needed a little break. But thank God, it wasn’t a big deal.”
As expected, the Marlins placed Fernandez on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a right biceps strain.
But Fernandez said he is relieved that test results showed the injury wasn’t anything more serious.
“That was great news,” Fernandez said of the diagnosis. “I think it’s the best news out of all it. It’s been a couple of days. I don’t feel any pain. I don’t feel anything. So I think it’s really good news. I feel really good about it.”
Asked if he expected to pitch again this season, Fernandez replied: “For sure. I’m pretty sure, yes.”
Fernandez complained of shoulder stiffness after pitching Friday in Atlanta. Though he came out after throwing only 76 pitches over five innings, he said it was the 38-pitch fourth inning that likely caused the injury.
“During the game, that fourth inning I threw a a lot of pitches,” Fernandez said. “My arm got a little tired. When I went out and pitched in the fifth inning, I wasn’t the same. I was dragging my arm. They just took me out of the game.”
Giancarlo Stanton continues to hit inside the cage but has yet to face live pitching, and there remains no timetable on when that will occur.
“He’s progressing nice,” said manager Dan Jennings. “He’ll continue to do baseball activities. You know, it’s just about when he gets the strength back in that hand and wrist.”
Stanton has missed more than six weeks after breaking the hamate bone in his left hand and undergoing surgery to repair the injury.
“He has been in the cages, starting to feel some strength come back,” Jennings said. “So, hopefully, that’s a positive side that we can move that clock forward some.”
▪ Reliever Carter Capps (right elbow) threw his first bullpen session Tuesday.
“Went well,” Jennings said. “I saw him flat ground and it looked good. The ball was coming out nice. It was great to see. Today was a nice step. He’ll have another bullpen, and then somewhere we’ll get him in game action, probably in Jupiter.”
▪ Christian Yelich was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup due to a knee contusion.
▪ Wednesday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (1-0, 4.05) vs. Boston Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (6-4, 4.17), 4:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Thursday: Off day.