Winning seems to be a habit for the Miami Marlins. Such a habit that they’re even winning in strange ways.
Saturday night’s 7-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers was a perfect example.
The Marlins scored in each of the first six innings, pounded out 14 hits, including four homers, and drew nine walks. So that pesky stat of 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position? Not a problem. A team-record-tying 17 runners left on base? Again, no problem.
“Always good to win,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “I thought we had good at-bats all night long. When you have that many guys you end up stranding you hope it doesn’t come back to burn you. But you can’t not like the at-bats. The at-bats were good all night. Guys were battling, forcing them to get us out. I’m really happy with the at-bats tonight.”
No. 8 hitter Adeiny Hechavarria had four hits and a homer to lead the attack as every starting Marlins position player had at least one hit.
Wei-Yin Chen allowed three runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Marlins extended their winning streak to seven games — all on the road. The Marlins wrap up their 10-game trip on Sunday.
The Marlins held a 7-1 lead before a four-run Milwaukee seventh made the final two innings a bit more nerve-wracking for Miami.
David Phelps pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save, as Mattingly gave normal closer A.J. Ramos the night off after pitching five of the six previous games.
“Phelps has been really good all year,” Mattingly said. “He’s gone from being a long guy for us to the seventh inning to being the eighth-inning [guy]. He’s a guy you can close with. You feel good about him.”
Derek Dietrich, stepping in at second base for the suspended Dee Gordon, started things out with a long home run to right on the first pitch of the game, and the Marlins were off and running.
Before the game, Mattingly talked about the added pop Dietrich brings to the top of the lineup.
“[Dietrich] gives you that power dynamic, a little bit more of a sees-pitches, on-base [percentage] dynamic,” Mattingly said.
Hechavarria pulled an encore in the second, leading off that frame with a blast to the Milwaukee bullpen in left-center.
The Marlins could have done further damage but left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings.
The Marlins scored in each of the first six innings, with Giancarlo Stanton’s eighth homer of the season in the fourth inning maybe the most notable. He attacked an 0-2 pitch from Milwaukee starter Chase Anderson, sending a missile an estimated 462 feet that left the bat at 117 mph.
“Just always pushing, always pushing the envelope,” Stanton said of the Marlins’ attack. “We let down in some big situations, and we came through every inning whether there were men on or not. If you give them pressure every inning, you’re going to have some runners left on and you’re going to have some runs.”
The Marlins added a run in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk to Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna went deep for his third home run of the season in the sixth inning.
Chen allowed a leadoff double in the first to Domingo Santana, who came around on a sacrifice and an infield out.
He breezed through the next five innings before a single by Jonathan Lucroy and a two-out double by Aaron Hill in the seventh prompted Mattingly to summon Craig Breslow. Chen left having thrown 105 pitches.
“Mainly my control,” Chen said when asked what was working for him. “I was able to hit my spots and going to the right direction most of the time. And J.T. [Realmuto] was good behind the plate. He called a good game tonight.”
Breslow allowed a soft, bloop single to Milwaukee’s Ramon Flores to score Chen’s last two runners. Milwaukee’s Hernan Perez then made it a tight game by blasting a two-run homer to center.
But Bryan Morris and Kyle Barraclough got the ball to Phelps for the save, and the Marlins pushed to a game over .500 at 12-11.