Wei-Yin Chen didn’t survive a nightmarish third inning on Saturday.
But the Marlins did.
J.T. Realmuto and Justin Bour helped ignite a potent offensive output that erased an early three-run deficit and helped the Marlins come back to beat the Rockies 9-6 at Marlins Park.
Realmuto had four hits, including a go-ahead, three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth that gave the Marlins (36-32) the lead for good. It was Realmuto’s second four-hit game of the season and third of his career, as he came up a triple short of the cycle.
“Baseball is a funny game because if you would have seen us at batting practice today, you would have thought we had no chance to win this game,” Realmuto said. “We came in [to the clubhouse] laughing about it, and I thought we might get no-hit.”
Luckily for the Marlins, the “poor BP” didn’t translate to the game, as they tallied 17 hits overall, including four extra-base hits.
Giancarlo Stanton and Bour each had singles to set up Realmuto’s 421-foot, go-ahead blast to left-center field. The trio, who hit 5 through 7 in the Marlins’ lineup, went 7 for 9 with five RBI through the first five innings. Along with Derek Dietrich, who had three hits, and Christian Yelich, who had two, the Marlins had five batters with multiple hits.
The Marlins had three players with three or more hits in a game for the fourth time this season.
“I feel like up and down we did a great job today,” said Bour, who also homered. “It seemed like every time I was up at the plate, [Stanton] was on first base. It’s a lot easier to hit when there are people on base and there are guys to drive in.”
Stanton posted back-to-back multi-hit games for the first time since May 4-5 and for only the third time this season. It was his second three-hit game of the season and first since April 24 in San Francisco.
“We scored seven runs on the [recent road] trip three different times in an instance where [Stanton] wasn’t swinging the bat really good,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “The fact that these guys are able to know that we have an identity among the whole team, knowing that when Giancarlo gets hot, it’s another part of the equation that makes it kind of scary because there are quick runs in there.”
The Rockies tagged Chen for six runs in the shortest start of his five-year major-league career.
But a day after they combined on a one-hitter led by starter Adam Conley, the Marlins’ bullpen had another stellar performance in the wake of Chen’s meltdown inning. Over the past two games, the bullpen has thrown 10 shutout innings, allowing only one hit.
Dustin McGowan patched things up in that disastrous third and threw 2 2/3 hitless frames. McGowan, Mike Dunn, Kyle Barraclough, David Phelps and A.J. Ramos combined to allow one hit in 6 2/3 shutout innings.
Ramos converted his 30th consecutive save opportunity, which is three short of the franchise record held by his predecessor, Steve Cishek. Ramos is 21 of 21 in save chances this season.
“That’s what we’re called upon to do in that spot,” said McGowan, who threw a perfect ninth inning on Friday. “Everybody has been really good and everybody down there can pitch in any role.”
That helps when [Mattingly] can call upon any of us and be confident.”
Chen suffered his worst start since allowing eight runs on Aug. 27, 2013, at Boston. It was only the fourth time in 131 career starts that he lasted four innings or less.
After getting through the first two innings despite a walk and two hits, things unraveled quickly with one out in the third and the Marlins leading 3-0.
DJ LeMahieu tripled, Carlos Gonzalez singled and Nolan Arenado doubled. Chen hit Trevor Story with a pitch to load the bases. After a run-scoring single by Ryan Raburn, Chen forced in the tying run by walking Mark Reynolds. Nick Hundley ended Chen’s day with a bases-clearing double to right-center field.
Bour helped the Marlins bounce back quickly in the bottom of the third by crushing a fastball from reliever Eddie Butler 444 feet to right center field.
Butler replaced Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, who entered the game with a MLB-best 0.65 ERA on the road, but gave up three runs in 1 2/3 innings. Chatwood left the game in the second inning with what was initially diagnosed as mid-back spasms. Chatwood, who made his 14th start since undergoing his second Tommy John surgery in April 2014, had not allowed more than one run in six previous road starts this season.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald