The Marlins showed up this weekend in Pittsburgh ready to battle. After getting their road trip off to a rough start in Cincinnati, the Fish were hoping to turn things around against the Pirates. Luckily for Marlins fans, not only were they able to win the series, they also pulled off a rather rare feat: the Fish swept the Pirates for the first time since 2011.
The series got off to a strong start on Friday night, thanks to Tom Koehler and the long ball. Koehler pitched six innings, his lone mistake being a 2-run homer to David Freese. The Bucs were able to do some damage against the bullpen as well, but fortunately, the Marlins’ offense came to life. They scored a total of six runs, including homers from Christian Yelich, Miguel Rojas and J.T. Realmuto.
Saturday’s game featured a stellar start from David Phelps. His transition from the bullpen seems to be going rather smoothly. He threw six scoreless frames, striking out a career-high nine batters, all with over 80 friends and family members in attendance. Newly called up Xavier Scruggs made his presence known in the fourth inning, where he hit his first career home run. The Marlins ended up winning the ballgame with a final score of 3-1.
Sunday’s series finale was started by José Ureña, who was able to limit Pittsburgh to just 2 runs over the course of six innings. A first-inning homer from Christian Yelich helped get the Marlins rolling, and they were able to secure a 3-2 victory, with Fernando Rodney closing it out. A.J. Ramos made his first appearance off the DL in the eighth inning. It will be interesting to see if the Fish continue to use Rodney as a closer or put Ramos back in that role.
Looking Ahead: With the series sweep in Pittsburgh, the Marlins now sit a game and a half back in the NL Wild Card. They have an off-day on Monday, and will return home to Miami for a 3-game series against the reigning World Series champs, the Kansas City Royals.