Miami Marlins

Marlins third baseman Martin Prado shoulders blame in Friday’s meltdown

Martin Prado, above, said he should have had the soft liner that drove in the winning runs on Friday night.
Martin Prado, above, said he should have had the soft liner that drove in the winning runs on Friday night. pportal@elnuevoherald.com

Martin Prado didn’t think justice was served when he was absolved of wrongdoing in Friday night’s mistake-filled eighth inning. Prado accepted full blame on Nick Markakis’ soft liner, which glanced off his glove and ended up scoring the deciding runs in the Braves’ 4-2 victory over the Marlins.

The official scorer charged Prado with an error initially but later changed his ruling to a base hit for Markakis. As a result, Marlins reliever David Phelps was charged with two earned runs instead of none.

“You can’t give that a hit,” said Prado, who thought he deserved an error on the play and felt Phelps deserved a better fate.

Prado said he would look into appealing the league in order to get the ruling reversed in an attempt to prove his own guilt.

“I don’t know if I just misjudged the ball,” said Prado, who has made only one error all season. “I thought it was hit harder than that. But that’s a ball that I’ve got to catch every day.”

Prado’s rare muff wasn’t the only misplay in the pivotal eighth.

With the score tied 2-2, Kelly Johnson lofted a fly ball into shallow left that either shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria or outfielder Cole Gillespie should have caught. Instead the two players backed off and the ball dropped in for a leadoff double.

“Either guy can catch it,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Somebody’s got to take charge, that’s all.”

conley frustrated

Adam Conley wasn’t as upset with the eight hits he gave up in only  4 1/3 innings on Friday as he was the three batters he hit with pitches and another that he walked.

“The thing that’s been the most frustrating for me has been when I’ve put guys on,” Conley said. “I hit three guys [Friday to equal a franchise record] and walked another guy.”

Conley, who walked seven batters in his previous start, has been symbolic of a troubling trend in general for the Marlins.

Marlins pitchers have issued the second-most walks in the majors (198). Only the Cincinnati Reds have walked more (216).

“I think the walks are just a bad sign in general,” Mattingly said. “Either you can’t throw strikes, which hopefully that’s not the case, or we’re getting ourselves in bad counts and forcing 3-2 [counts], and good stuff’s not going to happen.”

▪ Outfielders Giancarlo Stanton (side soreness) and Christian Yelich (back spasms) remained out of the lineup on Saturday.

But indications are Yelich could return to the lineup on Sunday while Stanton’s status remains uncertain.

Yelich was used as a pinch-hitter on Friday and walked on four pitches.

▪ Left-handed reliever Mike Dunn made his second minor-league rehab appearance on Friday and delivered a scoreless inning.

Mattingly said Dunn is scheduled to pitch in another rehab outing on Sunday as he works his way back from a forearm injury that has kept him on the disabled list all season.

Dunn could come off the disabled list and return to the bullpen during the Marlins’ upcoming homestand.

“From there [Sunday], I think we can seriously start trying to make a decision,” Mattingly said.

COMING UP

▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (2-5, 4.79 ERA) at Atlanta Braves RHP Julio Teheran (1-4, 2.57), 5:05 p.m., Turner Field.

▪ Monday: Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (2-2, 4.37) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (3-3, 5.08), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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