Miami Marlins

Chris Johnson’s pinch-hit home run only start of road to redemption after crucial error

Miami Marlins third baseman Chris Johnson singles in the seventh inning during a spring training game against the New York Yankees at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on March 8, 2016.
Miami Marlins third baseman Chris Johnson singles in the seventh inning during a spring training game against the New York Yankees at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter on March 8, 2016. hgabino@elnuevoherald.com

Chris Johnson really took his error Saturday night to heart.

Johnson dropped a ball on a relay throw that could have completed a seemingly routine double play that would have prevented the Phillies from scoring the go-ahead run in the eighth inning that led to them snapping the Marlins’ four-game winning streak.

So even as Johnson smacked a game-tying, pinch-hit solo home run in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game, he still didn’t feel it was redemption.

“It was good for [Sunday], but it doesn’t make me feel any better than [Saturday],” Johnson said. “I don’t really feel better about it at all.”

Johnson’s homer was his first as a Marlin, his second career pinch-hit blast and the first by a Marlins pinch-hitter this season.

As he crossed the plate, Johnson blew a kiss to his wife in the stands. She was celebrating her first Mother’s Day just a little over four months after she gave birth to their first child, Greyson.

The 398-foot home run that landed just inside the left-field pole started a two-run rally in the seventh Sunday that put the Marlins back in front, before the Phillies made their own rally and dealt Miami its second loss in a row.

“You felt good for him seeing that,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

“He basically just owned it and knows he had to move on. He didn’t make any excuses and just showed up today. It shows a lot about him.”

Johnson said it will take him some time to get over the miscue from the previous game.

“It was good to help the ball club in that situation and hopefully gets me going in that role,” Johnson said. “The mistake [Saturday] was on defense, too, so it’s not like I made anything to make that better.

“I just have to go out there and keep playing good defense and try to earn back the trust of those guys in the bullpen. It was a big error, and it cost us.”

MOTHER’S DAY TRIBUTE

Less than two years ago, Mayra Ordiales was fighting for her life.

She had been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

It forced Ordiales, a second-grade teacher at Royal Green Elementary School in Kendall, to undergo an arduous process of chemo and radiation therapy as well as surgery over the months that followed.

On Sunday afternoon, Ordiales, a longtime Marlins fan, was celebrating Mother’s Day with her family and a little later was throwing a pitch off the mound at Marlins Park to Jose Fernandez.

“This is incredible,” Ordiales said.

“I’m a huge Marlins fan. We used to have season tickets when they played at [the old stadium]. I have a pink bat at home with my name engraved on it and a tote bag that says Miami Marlins all over it.”

Ordiales, whose cancer has been in remission since March of 2015, was one of 30 breast cancer survivors who were honored by Major League Baseball on Mother’s Day as part of their Honorary Bat Girl program.

Ordiales was honored by the Marlins, who presented her with pink-colored merchandise, including a bat, and was greeted before the game by several Marlins coaches and players, including Fernandez, who caught the ceremonial first pitch.

Fernandez then gave her the souvenir ball and posed for a picture with her.

As part of MLB’s Mother’s Day celebration, both teams wore jerseys with pink numbers and letters, and players wore pink cleats as well as wristbands, with some wearing pink long-sleeve shirts under their jerseys.

Ordiales was accompanied by her husband, Tom, a longtime football coach at G. Holmes Braddock High in Miami, her son, Tommy, and daughter, Christina.

“When my son was little he used to run the bases after the game, but I had never done anything like this,” Ordiales said.

“This has been amazing.”

COMING UP

▪ Monday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (3-2, 4.28 ERA) vs. Milwaukee Brewers RHP Wily Peralta (2-3, 7.50), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

▪ Tuesday: Marlins LHP Adam Conley (2-1, 3.06) vs. Brewers RHP Zach Davies (0-3, 6.98), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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