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Chen's solid effort for naught as Marlins fall late

Left-hander allows one run in 7 2/3 innings for his best start of the season
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Before the season, the Marlins weren't sure what to expect from Wei-Yin Chen. After two straight injury-plagued seasons, the organization wasn't even convinced the left-hander would be available in the first half.

Chen's return has exceeded expectations, and on Saturday, the 32-year-old left-hander turned in one of his top performances since signing with the Marlins in 2016. He gave up one run in 7 1/3 innings in a no-decision on a day the Nationals rallied late for a 4-1 victory over Miami at Marlins Park.

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MIAMI -- Before the season, the Marlins weren't sure what to expect from Wei-Yin Chen. After two straight injury-plagued seasons, the organization wasn't even convinced the left-hander would be available in the first half.

Chen's return has exceeded expectations, and on Saturday, the 32-year-old left-hander turned in one of his top performances since signing with the Marlins in 2016. He gave up one run in 7 1/3 innings in a no-decision on a day the Nationals rallied late for a 4-1 victory over Miami at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Although the Marlins have dropped the series, Chen provided plenty of encouraging signs, working nicely with catcher J.T. Realmuto and trusting his defense.

"A tough one, obviously," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Wei-Yin really good today. A lot in the tank, it seemed like. Kind of checked with J.T. every inning and he still had finish on the ball, and he said, he would let me know."

Chen was protecting a one-run lead with one out in the eighth inning, before Wilmer Difo's home run tied the game. And in the ninth inning, Mark Reynolds connected on a leadoff home run off Brad Ziegler. Pinch-hitter Matt Adams and Trea Turner each added RBI singles.

Video: WSH@MIA: Reynold launches go-ahead HR in the 9th

"Really bad 3-1 pitch," Ziegler said. "That was kind of the story on my whole outing. Every three or four pitches, my command would just kind of leave me for a pitch or two. I made a lot of really good pitches down, but it seemed like every time I left a pitch up, they didn't miss a mistake."

For Chen, the start was his longest as a Marlin. It also was the deepest he's gone in a start since also working 7 1/3 innings while with the Orioles on Aug. 10, 2015, against the Mariners.

"Mentally, I'm trying to attack hitters in different locations," Chen said. "It's been a long time since I've pitched into the eighth inning. I tried not to overthink about it. I tried to attack the hitters. If you can do that, and focus on your pitches, the results will come."

Of his 94 pitches, Chen threw 60 four-seam fastballs, and 18 sliders. He induced 12 swinging strikes.

"Chen was carving us up all day," Reynolds said. "It was frustrating at-bats. All it takes sometimes is one swing to get a little energy in the club and Difo did that for us today; huge homer."

Matched against Tanner Roark, who has allowed two or fewer runs in his last seven starts against the Marlins, Miami need a strong performance from Chen. The lefty did his part, keeping the Nationals off the board until Difo turned on a 2-2 pitch in the eighth inning.

At that point, Chen was lifted after 94 pitches, scattering three hits while striking out six, including Bryce Harper three times.

The Marlins struck first off Roark in the fourth inning on Brian Anderson's RBI single, which scored Realmuto, who doubled.

Video: WSH@MIA: Anderson opens the scoring with RBI single

The Marlins had chances to break through, stranding runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

"Chen's been good," Mattingly said. "He's been more aggressive. He goes deep into that game. That's encouraging about him. Obviously, discouraging because we were not able to finish the game off for him."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After the Nationals tied it at 1 in the eighth, the Marlins had a chance to regain the lead in the bottom of the inning. Cameron Maybin singled to open the inning, and with one out, Realmuto's second double of the game put runners on second and third. Washington lefty Tim Collins got Justin Bour to bounce to first, and Reynolds threw Maybin out trying to score. Justin Miller replaced Collins, and struck out Starlin Castro to end the threat.

Video: WSH@MIA: Reynolds' heads-up play keeps the game tied

SOUND SMART
Anderson recorded his 14th multi-hit game, which is second on team to Castro's 15.

HE SAID IT
"I think we have to be concerned to some degree. He still throws the ball on the ground a lot, but more and more balls are getting through, it seems like. Obviously, the Atlanta game and this game." -- Mattingly, on Ziegler, who allowed three runs in the ninth inning and last Sunday was charged with four runs in two-thirds of an inning

Video: WSH@MIA: Mattingly on Roark and Ziegler in 4-1 Loss

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
A key replay moment came in the fourth inning. The Marlins had just gone ahead, 1-0, and had runners on the corners with one out when Miguel Rojas bounced into a 6-4-3 double play. The Marlins challenged that Rojas was safe at first, and on replay, it appeared very close. But the ruling was that the call stands. The Marlins felt replay showed Rojas was safe.

Video: WSH@MIA: Nats turn 6-4-3 DP as call stands in the 4th

"Obviously, it's close. It's bang-bang. It didn't go our way," Mattingly said.

UP NEXT
Pitching on the big league stage has not fazed Marlins rookie Elieser Hernandez, the 23-year-old who has a 2.08 ERA in four big league appearances with two starts. Hernandez gets the nod in the series finale with the Nationals at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday at Marlins Park. He goes against an established veteran in Stephen Strasburg.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Wei-Yin Chen

With Prado on DL, Marlins add Riddle to roster

Third baseman sustained hamstring injury in Friday's game
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- For the first time since last July, JT Riddle is back in the big leagues. The Marlins on Saturday morning recalled the 26-year-old shortstop from Triple-A New Orleans.

Adding Riddle was the corresponding move as third baseman Martin Prado was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. Prado sustained the injury while running to first base in the sixth inning on Friday in Miami's 9-5 loss to the Nationals at Marlins Park.

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MIAMI -- For the first time since last July, JT Riddle is back in the big leagues. The Marlins on Saturday morning recalled the 26-year-old shortstop from Triple-A New Orleans.

Adding Riddle was the corresponding move as third baseman Martin Prado was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. Prado sustained the injury while running to first base in the sixth inning on Friday in Miami's 9-5 loss to the Nationals at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

The Marlins wasted little time getting Riddle back into his first big league game since last July 19. The left-handed-hitting shortstop was in the lineup and batting seventh.

"You never hope for injuries, of course," said Riddle, who was the regular shortstop for a couple of months in the first half of 2017 before hurting his left shoulder. "It's kind of the reason I did get the call, but you never hope for that. I hope for the best for Prado, and hope he gets healthy and is able to be back and be able to help the team."

The arrival of Riddle resulted in Miguel Rojas, who has been manning shortstop all season, playing third base on Saturday.

Manager Don Mattingly said that Riddle likely will handle short, with Rojas and Brian Anderson as options at third base. But, for the short term, Anderson will still get plenty of starts in right field.

"That was the decision to leave Andy out there at right for now and go with JT," Mattingly said. "The unfortunate part about that was the Miggy move. He's earned to play every day. I think he understood, this makes us a better team."

Riddle appeared in 70 games as a rookie in 2017, batting .250/.282/.355 with three home runs and 31 RBIs. His season was cut short by a left shoulder injury, which required surgery last season.

Video: NYM@MIA: Riddle gets two hits and turns a double play

"It's been a long road, recovery process, for me," Riddle said. "I'm very excited to be back."

Riddle was slowed in Spring Training with right shoulder tendinitis, and he opened the season on the disabled list before he was reinstated and optioned to New Orleans, where he was hitting .346/.400/.531 with three home runs and 19 RBIs in 21 games.

"It's part of the process of coming back," Riddle said. "Being off that long, you've got to get some games under your belt. I treated this last month as my Spring Training almost. I've been feeling really good, swinging the bat well. My body is feeling great."

Anderson opened the season at third base, and still projects as the third baseman of the future. But, for now, he will get plenty of work in right field.

"Guys are going to be switching positions," Anderson said. "It's nothing that guys haven't dealt with before. I think we're prepared. It's just tough to lose a guy like Martin in the clubhouse."

Prado, 34, has dealt with left hamstring issues since last year. The veteran opened the season on the DL due to his hamstring problems. In 24 games, he is hitting .194.

Additional tests will be taken on Prado, who is expected to miss substantial time.

Video: LAD@MIA: Prado charges, lays out to snag a bunt popup

"It's a rough one," Mattingly said. "I don't know if there is anyone who cares more than Martin. Just the pride in the way he plays, how he prepares. Everything he does is about being as good as he possibly can be, so it's really hard to see this."

A consummate pro, Prado is a leader on and off the field, and he sets an example for the young players.

"Martin, it's like he apologizes for getting hurt," Mattingly said. "If we had 25 Martins, we're going to win a championship. If we get 25 guys with that attitude and mindset, we're going to win a championship."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Martin Prado, JT Riddle

Local champs compete in Pitch, Hit & Run

Softball and baseball players age 7-14 participate in event at Marlins Park
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- Getting a taste of being in the big leagues became a reality to 24 youth players on Saturday morning at Marlins Park.

The home of the Miami Marlins was a host site for the Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competition for baseball and softball players 7-14 years of age. Similar events will take place in all 30 big league parks, with a select group eventually advancing to the national finals during the MLB All-Star Week in July at Nationals Park.

MIAMI -- Getting a taste of being in the big leagues became a reality to 24 youth players on Saturday morning at Marlins Park.

The home of the Miami Marlins was a host site for the Scotts MLB Pitch, Hit & Run competition for baseball and softball players 7-14 years of age. Similar events will take place in all 30 big league parks, with a select group eventually advancing to the national finals during the MLB All-Star Week in July at Nationals Park.

"It's a great experience," said Kabir Faiz, account manager at Scott's MLB Pitch, Hit & Run headquarters. "We told the kids before they came out here, just making it to this level is an accomplishment.

"They're amongst 720 from 650,000 that get here. We consider all of them champions just to get here to this point. So we really tell them to relish it, enjoy the experience. Enjoy the moment, have fun out there, regardless of how they perform. So it's a big deal and it's an amazing experience for them."

Each player takes part in throwing, hitting off a tee and running the bases from second base to home plate.

Participants came from as far west as Fort Myers, Fla., and north as Jupiter, Fla., along with baseball and softball players from South Florida.

"It's awesome, because you get to pitch, hit and run on a big league field," said Sullivan Smith, a 10-year-old from Jupiter.

PHR is a 22-year-old program, which features 650,000 kids competing every year. Those who reached Marlins Park on Saturday were local champions within their community.

"It's really cool," said Mackenzie Root, an 11-year-old and first-time participant from Fort Myers. "It's a great experience. Pitching on the big field was cool."

As part of their experience, the players and their families received tickets for the Marlins game against the Nationals.

Results:

Softball
Division 7-8: 1. Lexis Fisk (Hialeah, Fla.), 2. Yazmine Soto-Pabey (Ft. Myers, Fla.), 3. Makala Jackson (Delray Beach, Fla.).

Division 9-10: 1. Adriana Boucher (Boca Raton, Fla.), 2. Annabell Walsh (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 3. Ava Weinbaum (Ft. Myers, Fla.).

Division 11-12: 1. Mackenzie Root (Fort Myers, Fla.), 2. Valerie Torres (Miami, Fla.), 3. Celine Laplante (Delray Beach, Fla.).

Division 13-14: 1. Ella Pastore (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 2. Trinity Hood (Ft. Myers, Fla.), 3. Emily Vissaint (Delray Beach, Fla.).

Baseball
Division 7-8: 1. Kaeden Russell (Ft. Myers, Fla.), 2. Leo Wallander (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 3. Conner Buchanan (Jupiter, Fla.).

Division 9-10: 1. Thomas Pastore (West Palm Beach, Fla.), 2. Sullivan Smith (Jupiter, Fla.), Owen Hewitt (Jupiter, Fla.).

Division 11-12: 1. Joel Cabrera (Miami, Fla.), Jordan Peterman (Riviera Beach, Fla.), 3. Holt Flowers (Jupiter, Fla.).

Division 13-14: 1. Drake Flowers (Jupiter, Fla.), Brayden Slade (Coconut Creek, Fla.), 3. Jaiden Forgetta (Ft. Myers).

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

Harrison hits seventh homer

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Eloy Jimenez's flair for the dramatic was on full display Saturday as the White Sox top prospect delivered a go-ahead grand slam to cap a six-run ninth inning in Double-A Birmingham's 8-5 win against Jackson.

It was the third career grand slam for Jimenez, MLB Pipeline's No. 3 overall prospect, and his first since joining the White Sox organization last July in the deal that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs. He also hit a double in the contest, finishing 2-for-5.

Jimenez's multihit performance was his fourth during his current seven-game hitting streak. The 21-year-old outfielder owns a .331/.372/.620 batting line through 35 games and ranks second in the Southern League in both home runs (nine) and RBIs (35) despite missing the first two weeks of the season with a pectoral strain.

Jimenez hits go-ahead slam

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday

• No. 2 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero (Blue Jays' No. 1) tallied a single in his first at-bat in both games of Double-A New Hampshire's doubleheader against Hartford to extend his on-base streak to 35 games. He finished both contests 1-for-3, lowering his Minor League-leading batting average to .431.

• No. 65 overall prospect Monte Harrison (Marlins' No. 1) connected on his seventh home run in his second straight multihit game for Double-A Jacksonville, finishing 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. The 22-year-old outfielder has tallied a hit in six of his past seven games to raise his average from .234 to .251.

Harrison goes yard

• Having already started a pair of combined no-hitters for Double-A Mobile this season, Angels' No. 7 prospect Griffin Canning nearly headlined another as he worked 3 2/3 innings of hitless ball in a no-decision. The 22-year-old righty issued three walks and struck out five, throwing 35 of his 59 pitches for strikes. He's posted eight hitless frames over his past two starts and has allowed just one earned run across his past five turns, totaling 28 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings in that span.

Astros' No. 20 prospect Myles Straw hit a pair of doubles in his second career 5-for-5 performance as Double-A Corpus Christi defeated Tulsa, 7-2. He scored three runs out of the leadoff spot and also stole his Texas League-leading 31st base of the year. Through 47 games, the 23-year-old outfielder ranks first in the circuit in hits (63) and runs (37), second in average (.362) and third in OBP (.459).

Straw's fifth hit

Cardinals' No. 3 prospect Dakota Hudson worked eight scoreless innings and set a season high with nine strikeouts, leading Triple-A Memphis past Colorado Springs, 4-0. He yielded four hits and issued one walk, throwing 68 of his 103 pitches for strikes in the outing. The 23-year-old right-hander has allowed one or fewer earned runs in four straight starts, while lowering his ERA from 3.90 to 2.30 in that span. Hudson owns a 6-1 record through nine starts.

Cubs' No. 18 prospect Keegan Thompson posted a career-best eight strikeouts over six scoreless innings as Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach blanked Carolina, 1-0. He allowed one hit and faced one over the minimum in the outing, retiring the final 16 batters he faced. A 2017 third-round pick out of Tulane, Thompson has pitched to a 3.61 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 46 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings (nine starts) in his first full season.

Thompson notches a strikeout

• Making his Triple-A debut, Dodgers' No. 16 prospect Caleb Ferguson whiffed a season-high 10 batters over five innings, allowing three hits and three walks in a no-decision for Oklahoma City. The 23-year-old lefty received a promotion to the Minors' highest level after posting a 1.38 ERA with 40 strikeouts and a .217 opponents' average in 39 innings (eight starts) with Double-A Tulsa.

Ferguson fans garcia

Indians' No. 28 prospect Eli Morgan picked up his first Carolina League win in his second start for Class A Advanced Lynchburg. Matching his season high with seven innings, Morgan allowed one earned run on five hits while striking out seven. The 22-year-old righty has been excellent in his first full season, registering a 2.08 ERA with a 0.91 WHIP and a 68-to-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 56 1/3 innings (10 starts) across two levels. 21-year-old outfielder Conner Capel (No. 12) went 2-for-4 and hit one of Lynchburg's three solo homers, his third of the season. He's slashing .299/.388/.425 through 45 games.

Mets' No. 4 prospect struck out in his first three at-bats before delivering a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the ninth of Double-A Binghamton's 3-1 win against Bowie. The homer was Alonso's Eastern League-leading 14th blast of the season, and he's now gone deep in back-to-back games and three times in in his past four contests. The 23-year-old first baseman is slashing .344/.465/.656 overall, with 56 hits and 42 RBIs through 47 games.

Alonso hits two-run homer

• Down at the Class A level, Mets' No. 14 prospect Anthony Kay recorded his second professional win as he set career highs with eight strikeouts and seven innings for Class A Columbia. The 2016 first-rounder threw 65 of his 96 pitches for strikes, allowing one earned run on five hits and one walk with one hit-by-pitch. He's pitched to a 3.59 ERA in 42 2/3 innings (eight starts), compiling 40 strikeouts and 14 strikeouts while holding hitters to a .248 average.

Phillies' No. 16 prospect Dylan Cozens went deep twice, hitting solo and two-run home runs to help power Triple-A Lehigh Valley past Pawtucket in Game 1 of a doubleheader. The 23-year-old slugger has homered nine times in 46 games for the IronPigs after totaling 27 homers in 135 games last season in his first Triple-A campaign.

Cozens' second homer

Twins' No. 8 prospect Brent Rooker went 4-for-5 with a home run and two doubles as he helped power Double-A Chattanooga past Montgomery, 11-10. His four hits matched a career high, and Rooker also tallied three RBIs and three runs in the big performance. He's slashing .254/.295/.441 with seven home runs and 10 doubles over 45 games in his first full season.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Marlins get to Scherzer, but 'pen can't contain

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- The Marlins on Friday were able to do what no other club had done so far against Max Scherzer. Miami scratched out seven hits and four runs off the reigning two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, both season highs.

But as the offense kept bouncing back, the bullpen wasn't able to hold things down. The Nationals broke through in the seventh inning, behind Bryce Harper's two-run double, to hand the Marlins a 9-5 loss in the series opener at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

MIAMI -- The Marlins on Friday were able to do what no other club had done so far against Max Scherzer. Miami scratched out seven hits and four runs off the reigning two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, both season highs.

But as the offense kept bouncing back, the bullpen wasn't able to hold things down. The Nationals broke through in the seventh inning, behind Bryce Harper's two-run double, to hand the Marlins a 9-5 loss in the series opener at Marlins Park.

View Full Game Coverage

"Our at-bats were good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "[Scherzer] is not one of those guys you're going to bang around. Our guys fought. I thought they battled."

The loss was especially tough for Miami because in the sixth inning, Martin Prado sustained a left hamstring strain, and he could be out for an extended period of time.

"Unfortunate for us. It seemed like the whole game went right down the tubes when that happened to him," Mattingly said. "Nothing went right after that."

Video: WSH@MIA: Mattingly provides an update on Prado

The first meeting between the NL East rivals featured both teams' Opening Day starters, Scherzer and Jose Urena. Both were charged with four runs in six innings.

Derek Dietrich belted a two-run homer off Scherzer in the sixth, which pulled Miami even at 4. But the Nationals got to Nick Wittgren in the seventh.

Michael A. Taylor, who connected on a two-run homer off Urena in the second, started the rally with a double in the seventh. Back-to-back walks and an infield single set up Harper's at-bat in the three-run inning.

"Jose kept us in it, we got a big hit from Dietz, we had some good at-bats, and then we've got a ballgame," Mattingly said. "At that point, it was kind of out of Scherzer's hands and in the bullpens' hands. We just couldn't really stop them."

Video: WSH@MIA: Taylor crushes a 2-run homer to left field

Scherzer (8-1) has been masterful all season, entering with a 1.78 ERA. The ace had not allowed more than two earned runs or six hits in any of his first 10 starts.

Urena matched Scherzer for most of the night, giving up four runs on a pair of homers to Taylor and Matt Adams. Urena matched his career high with seven strikeouts.

Video: WSH@MIA: Adams socks homer to straightaway center

The Marlins got on the board in the fourth inning on Miguel Rojas' two-run single. In the sixth, Dietrich capped a seven-pitch at-bat, in which he lined a couple of balls just foul, with a two-run homer that Statcast™ projected at 395 feet, with an exit velocity of 103.4 mph.

To Rojas, the night changed when Prado left the game.

"That's a bigger loss than losing the game tonight," Rojas said. "I know how hard he works. I know how he dedicates his career to being a top-of-the-line player and an even better person off the field. Seeing this happen to him over and over the past couple of years has been rough. All we can do is keep praying for him that it's not that bad and he can come back this year."

Video: WSH@MIA: Rojas drives in 2 with a single to center

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Marlins were playing catch-up all night, rallying from two runs down to tie the score in the fourth and sixth innings. After the Nationals scored three times in the seventh, going up 7-4, Miami made things interesting in the bottom half of the inning on Brian Anderson's RBI double. With two on, Lewis Brinson worked a full count in an eight-pitch showdown with Brandon Kintzler but struck out.

Video: WSH@MIA: Anderson rips an RBI double to right-center

Brinson actually had an encouraging night, even though he went 0-for-3 with a walk. He nearly homered in the third inning and lined out to right field in the sixth.

"I'm happy with the way Lewis is going," Mattingly said. "If you asked me 10 days ago if he was able to look this good, I probably wouldn't have thought so. But to me, he's making true strides. He's having a lot better at-bats."

Video: WSH@MIA: Kintzler strikes out Brinson to escape jam

PRADO INJURES HAMSTRING
Prado was in the process of enjoying his best game of the season with a single and two doubles in his first three at-bats -- all against Scherzer -- but his night ended in the sixth inning when he aggravated his left hamstring while reaching first base on Trea Turner's error at short.

Video: WSH@MIA: Prado doubles to left for 3rd hit of game

The hamstring is the same one that landed the veteran third baseman on the disabled list to start the season. The Marlins are listing Prado as day to day, but there is concern. Prado's first game of the season came on April 27, and he appeared in just 37 contests last year, dealing with hamstring and knee issues.

Video: WSH@MIA: Prado exits game with an injury in the 6th

SOUND SMART
Rojas had his perfect 1.000 fielding percentage at shortstop come to an end in the seventh inning. Turner hit a broken-bat liner to Rojas, who didn't pick up the ball well. Rojas jumped, and the ball deflected off him. It was ruled an error, snapping a string of 54 straight games at short without an error.

Video: WSH@MIA: Difo crosses the dish on Rojas' error

HE SAID IT
"I think I did everything. I did it the right way. I listened to people who told me, 'Hey, man, you have to back off sometimes.' I think I did all that." -- Prado

UP NEXT
After facing the Braves in his last start, Marlins lefty Wei-Yin Chen sees another National League East rival at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday at Marlins Park. Chen takes on the Nationals, a team he is 1-5 (4.69 ERA) against in his career. Washington counters with Tanner Roark.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Derek Dietrich, Jose Urena

Prado likely to miss extended time with injury

Marlins third baseman sustains left hamstring strain, goes on DL
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- The silence in the clubhouse spoke loudly on Friday night after the Marlins' 9-5 loss to the Nationals at Marlins Park.

On the schedule, the night will go down as a loss that dropped Miami's record to 19-31. In terms of the bigger picture, the setback was even more significant because third baseman Martin Prado reinjured his left hamstring, and the 34-year-old was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday.

View Full Game Coverage

MIAMI -- The silence in the clubhouse spoke loudly on Friday night after the Marlins' 9-5 loss to the Nationals at Marlins Park.

On the schedule, the night will go down as a loss that dropped Miami's record to 19-31. In terms of the bigger picture, the setback was even more significant because third baseman Martin Prado reinjured his left hamstring, and the 34-year-old was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday.

View Full Game Coverage

The organization is bracing for Prado to miss extended time.

"They just did an ultrasound and it showed something in there," Prado said. "I think there is a significant gap between the fibers and the muscles. We'll get an MRI pretty soon, but there is something there."

The club is calling it a left hamstring strain. It's the same ailment that caused Prado to open the season on the disabled list, before he played in his first game on April 27.

"That was a tough one to watch, knowing what Martin has been through," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You just feel for him. He's worked so hard to get back, and the struggles last year with the legs. To have this now, when it looked like he was starting to swing the bat, unfortunate for us. It seemed like the whole game went right down the tubes when that happened to him. Nothing went right after that."

Video: WSH@MIA: Mattingly provides an update on Prado

Before the sixth inning on Friday, Prado enjoyed his first three-hit game of the season. All three knocks came off two-time reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer.

In the sixth, Prado grounded to Trea Turner, who bobbled the ball at short. Prado tried slowing up at first base, but he felt something pull in his hamstring. He doubled over for a few seconds and was tended to by the training staff before being replaced by a pinch-runner, pitcher Dan Straily. Brian Anderson moved from right field to third base.

Shortstop JT Riddle, who exited Triple-A New Orleans' game in the eighth inning on Friday, was called up in a corresponding move.

The Marlins could use some combination of Anderson, Miguel Rojas and perhaps even Riddle, who has played mostly shortstop, at third base.

"It's hard for me to explain sometimes," Prado said of the disappointment. "I knew the challenge of people feeling sorry for me like, 'Oh yeah, he's playing at 80, 70 percent.' I knew it was going to be hard, but I was just feeling great, just doing everything I could. ... It's just been a difficult year-and-a-half for me."

Video: WSH@MIA: Prado doubles to left for 3rd hit of game

A veteran leader on a youthful squad, Prado has been leading off lately.

"He's a guy we look to be like in this clubhouse, he's a guy who has done so much in his career," Rojas said. "You can reflect on everything he's done in his career and say, 'I want to be like him.'"

Friday marked Prado's 24th game of the season, and he had been off to a slow start. But his three hits raised his batting average to .194.

In 2017, hamstring and knee injuries limited Prado's season to 37 games.

Like Prado, Riddle has dealt with injuries over the past year. He appeared in 70 games for the Marlins in 2017 before undergoing left shoulder surgery. In Spring Training, Riddle dealt with right shoulder tendinitis. But he has been playing regularly at New Orleans, where he is batting .346 in 21 games.

Prado is signed through 2019, and the veteran is determined not to let his latest hamstring setback mark the end of his career.

Asked if he thought his injuries could be career threatening, Prado said: "Not really. Sometimes, it can cross my mind, but I'm not a quitter. I'm not going to quit yet."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Martin Prado

Conley could take over Miller-like bullpen role

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- With the Marlins boasting the most starting pitching depth they've had in years, finding a rotation spot may be difficult for Adam Conley. But that doesn't mean the 28-year-old left-hander can't still fill a valuable role.

The Marlins recently recalled Conley from Triple-A New Orleans to be a multi-innings option out of the bullpen. The most eye-opening change has been an increase in velocity, with his fastball reaching 96 mph.

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MIAMI -- With the Marlins boasting the most starting pitching depth they've had in years, finding a rotation spot may be difficult for Adam Conley. But that doesn't mean the 28-year-old left-hander can't still fill a valuable role.

The Marlins recently recalled Conley from Triple-A New Orleans to be a multi-innings option out of the bullpen. The most eye-opening change has been an increase in velocity, with his fastball reaching 96 mph.

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Marlins manager Don Mattingly on Friday said Conley may have found a home in the bullpen, where he could take on an Andrew Miller-like role.

The way the Indians have used Miller in multiple situations has become a model for a number of clubs. Like Miller, Conley is a lanky left-hander who has had trouble being consistent with his delivery as a starter, so he was switched to the bullpen. The door isn't completely closed on Conley starting, but for now, the team is seeing how he does in relief.

"You see Andrew Miller, guys like that, in Cleveland, with that angle," Mattingly said. "He had trouble starting, but when you put him out in the 'pen, he became dominant."

At New Orleans, Conley worked on his mechanics, and his velocity started climbing. A few years ago, the lefty was throwing 96-97 mph in Spring Training. But it has slipped during the season, sometimes because of an inconsistent delivery.

"Mechanically, he figured things out to throw harder," Mattingly said. "I still think the slider can get better, but obviously, the velocity tick is good for us, and good for him. If he can handle that role in the bullpen, maybe he stays? I can't sit here and make those decisions because maybe somebody goes down in the rotation tomorrow, and we say, 'Hey, Adam is starting.'"

Conley has made 65 big league appearances (56 starts). The lefty threw one inning in Friday's 9-5 loss to the Nationals, inheriting a bases-loaded, no-outs situation against Bryce Harper, who ended up doubling with two strikes. But Conley got out of the seventh without any further damage, inducing a double-play grounder. His previous two outings this season were scoreless.

Video: WSH@MIA: Conley escapes bases-loaded jam with a DP

Entering Friday, Conley's four-seam fastball average -- based on 25 pitches -- was 94.6 mph, according to Statcast™. A year ago, on almost 1,100 pitches, it was 89.7 mph. In 2016, when Conley went 8-6 with a 3.85 ERA in 25 starts, his fastball averaged 91.7 mph.

It's common for velocity to increase for relievers because they can let it go for an inning or two, rather than pacing themselves as a starter.

"We're trying to find out what's best for this club, and for [Conley] long term, and for us long term," Mattingly said. "We don't have a lot of left-handed bullpen pieces. I think we're trying to find out what's best. Can this guy be that middle-of-the-game bridge? Just like [Nick] Wittgren has been for us."

Wittgren is a right-hander who has worked multiple frames to get the game to the late innings.

Worth noting
Right-hander Brett Graves, on rehab assignment for a strained left oblique, is scheduled to make his next start on Sunday for Double-A Jacksonville. Chris O'Grady (left shoulder strain) continues his throwing progression. Outfielder/first baseman Garrett Cooper (right wrist contusion) hit balls off a tee on Friday and took ground balls. Cooper is on the 60-day disabled list and likely will need several weeks of rehab games.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Adam Conley

This Marlins prospect could be close to callup

MLB.com @JamalCollier

The National League East has proven through the start of the season that it will be one of the most interesting divisions to watch throughout the season. There were four teams within three games of first place entering play on Thursday.

Each team should be vying for position throughout the rest of the season, so perhaps an injection of youth could help put it over the top.

The National League East has proven through the start of the season that it will be one of the most interesting divisions to watch throughout the season. There were four teams within three games of first place entering play on Thursday.

Each team should be vying for position throughout the rest of the season, so perhaps an injection of youth could help put it over the top.

MLB.com took a look at some NL East prospects to watch, each of whom is pushing his arrival to the Majors more quickly than his organization expected. Some of them could be in the Majors by September, some at any point this season, and one has already reached the Majors -- far sooner than anticipated.

Video: Top Prospects: Austin Riley, 3B, Braves

BRAVES
Prospect: 3B Austin Riley
MLB Pipeline rankings: Braves' No. 8 prospect, No. 77 overall
Why you should keep an eye on him: When the Braves recently released Jose Bautista and gave Johan Camargo the everyday role at third base, general manager Alex Anthopoulos did not shut the door on the possibility Riley could eventually be given the job this season. The powerful right-handed hitter hasn't spent much time above the Class A level and his strikeout rate remains slightly north of the comfort level, but he has the potential to impact the lineup much the same way Ronald Acuna Jr. can over the rest of the season. An American League scout recently said, "[Riley] might be the best third-base prospect I've seen in more than 20 years."
ETA: Riley likely won't arrive before the All-Star break, but there's no longer reason to assume he'll be limited to September action this year.

Video: MIA@NYM: Alcantara strikes out Cespedes swinging

MARLINS
Prospect: RHP Sandy Alcantara
MLB Pipeline rankings: Marlins' No. 2 prospect, No. 100 overall
Why you should keep an eye on him: The Marlins' top-ranked pitching prospect is moving closer to his first callup. One of the centerpieces in the Marcell Ozuna trade with the Cardinals in December, Alcantara is a 22-year-old with a 98-to-100-mph fastball. The slender right-hander from the Dominican Republic was a September callup with St. Louis in 2017, but in Miami's building process, the organization is not rushing his development. Alcantara is at Triple-A working on all aspects of his game, including commanding pitches to both sides of the plate, fielding his position and holding runners.
ETA: It's simply a matter of when the organization feels Alcantara is ready. It could be any day or week, or not until sometime in the second half. With Alcantara, the organization is handling with care.

Video: Top Prospects: Peter Alonso, 1B, Mets

METS
Prospect: 1B Peter Alonso
MLB Pipeline ranking: Mets' No. 4 prospect
Why you should keep an eye on him: When healthy, Alonso has done nothing but produce since the Mets took him in the second round of the 2016 Draft. He has been crushing the ball. Entering Thursday, Alonso was batting .338 with 12 home runs and has spent much of May leading the Eastern League in OPS (a league that also includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, among other top prospects). He is putting pressure on the Mets to promote him to Triple-A, where former first-round Draft pick Dominic Smith, who has struggled during brief stints in the big leagues, has begun starting games in right field.
ETA: Let's not get carried away with 50-odd games at Double-A. But if Alonso keeps crushing, it's not unthinkable to imagine him earning a September callup. At the least, he and Smith could compete for the starting first-base job next spring, with Adrian Gonzalez signed for just one year.

Video: SD@WSH: Soto's first career hit is a three-run homer

NATIONALS
Prospect: OF Juan Soto
MLB Pipeline rankings: Nationals' No. 2 prospect, No. 15 overall
Why you should keep an eye on him: The future is now for the fastest-rising prospect in baseball. A month ago, Soto was still in Class A, but the 19-year-old phenom has earned three promotions since then to arrive in Washington way ahead of schedule. And then on the first pitch he saw in his first career start, he swatted a three-run home run. In Soto's second game, he reached base in all four plate appearances. The Nats also have Victor Robles, their top prospect and MLB Pipeline's No. 5 overall, but an elbow injury has derailed his progress, so Soto has taken over as Washington's hottest prospect.
ETA: Soto arrived in Washington this week, and if he keeps hitting like this, he's here to stay.

PHILLIES
Prospect and position: RHP Enyel De Los Santos
MLB Pipeline ranking: Phillies' No. 12 prospect
Why you should keep an eye on him: De Los Santos has started knocking on the door of the Majors after a fast start out of Spring Training. In eight starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, he has posted a 1.39 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 45 1/3 innings. Jerad Eickhoff suffered a setback in his rehab on Sunday, so the Phillies might need a starter in the coming weeks and months. They could turn to De Los Santos over Ben Lively and Mark Leiter Jr. (both on 40-man roster and with big league experience) or even Triple-A lefty Cole Irvin. De Los Santos is not on the 40-man roster, but the Phils could easily place Eickhoff on the 60-day disabled list to clear space.
ETA: On a lesser team, perhaps De Los Santos would already be in the Majors, but expect him to make his debut in the Majors at some point this season.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Marlins announce alumni softball game

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- The Marlins' silver anniversary celebration will feature many of the organization's all-time greats back in action again.

The club on Thursday announced that its 25th Anniversary Weekend will include an Alumni Softball Game on June 10 at Marlins Park.

MIAMI -- The Marlins' silver anniversary celebration will feature many of the organization's all-time greats back in action again.

The club on Thursday announced that its 25th Anniversary Weekend will include an Alumni Softball Game on June 10 at Marlins Park.

To celebrate their 25th anniversary season, the Marlins will have a throwback weekend on June 8-10 against the Padres in Miami. For all three games, Miami will be wearing the colors of its inaugural 1993 season.

The Marlins Alumni Softball Game, presented by Ciroc, promises to be one of the highlights of the weekend. Participating in the game will be players from the Marlins' 1997 and 2003 World Series title teams.On the list are 25 alumni players, coaches and managers spanning the entire history of the franchise.

The softball game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET. It will be followed by the Marlins-Padres game at 1:10 p.m. ET.

Recent commitments to attend the celebration are ex-players Antonio Alfonseca, Luis Castillo, Alex Fernandez, Cliff Floyd and Juan Pierre. Other former Marlins slated to attend are Charlie Hough, who was the club's first Opening Day starter, Charles Johnson, Livan Hernandez, Mike Lowell and Edgar Renteria.

As part of the weekend festivities, alumni players will make appearances throughout Marlins Park, taking part in autograph signings and selfie stations.

There will be special ticket packages available for the weekend, which are available on marlins.com. One deal includes a $4 Vista Level tickets. That's the same price for an adult general admission ticket for Opening Day in 1993.

The weekend giveaways include a Teal Marlins Rally Towel on June 9 and a 25th Anniversary Logo Pin on June 10.

Limited edition 25th Anniversary shirts, hats and other merchandise are currently on sale at Marlins Park. Additional items, including throwback jerseys and hats, will be available at Marlins Park retail locations, beginning on June 8.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins

Marlins rally in 9th to stun Mets, claim series

Realmuto, Castro deliver RBI knocks in final frame against NY closer
MLB.com @ladsonbill24

NEW YORK -- The Marlins had trouble scoring at Citi Field on Wednesday night, at least until the ninth inning. They scored two runs off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to steal a 2-1 win over New York

Down, 1-0, entering the ninth, the Marlins put runners on second and third with one out before J.T. Realmuto singled to center, scoring pinch-runner Yadiel Rivera. Two batters later, Starlin Castro singled to left, scoring Realmuto.

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NEW YORK -- The Marlins had trouble scoring at Citi Field on Wednesday night, at least until the ninth inning. They scored two runs off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to steal a 2-1 win over New York

Down, 1-0, entering the ninth, the Marlins put runners on second and third with one out before J.T. Realmuto singled to center, scoring pinch-runner Yadiel Rivera. Two batters later, Starlin Castro singled to left, scoring Realmuto.

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"We really didn't knock [Familia] around. We threw a couple of fisters out there. He has tremendous stuff,and he is not a guy you are going to beat up," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "But we were able to hit a couple of balls that we fight off, not cheating out there. He beats us to the spot. But were able to get enough to put it in play."

Video: MIA@NYM: Mattingly on late-inning comeback victory

Closer Brad Ziegler pitched a shutout ninth inning to pick up his ninth save of the season. The Marlins finished the road trip at 3-3 and now play a brief three-game series against the Nationals at Marlins Park.

"The win was huge for us, to be able to finish the road trip on a positive note," Realmuto said. "It was good to win the series against a real good team over there. Hopefully, we can carry some momentum into the homestand."

Video: MIA@NYM: Realmuto smacks game-tying single to center

The rally helped right-hander Dan Straily avoid a tough-luck loss. He lasted six innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out five. He made one mistake in the fifth inning when Brandon Nimmo took a 2-2 pitch and put it into the right-field seats.

"It was a pitchers' duel. It really fun to be in, honestly. You can't be the first one to blink. You don't want to make a mistake, and I did," Straily said. "It's really frustrating to be out there. You are on and off the field so quickly. To make that one mistake; Nimmo didn't miss it by any means. You kind of knew going in there that there is a fine line between what he can get to and what he can't get to. Obviously, he got to that one.

"It's really a testament to us finishing the game hard and the guys not taking any at-bats off, no matter who is on the hill. Were were grinding those at-bats, coming through big."

Video: MIA@NYM: Straily strikes out 5 across 6 strong frames

Realmuto did his best to make sure New York's early lead wasn't bigger. Mets shortstop Amed Rosario led off the fifth with a single, but Realmuto nailed him at second trying to steal.

Realmuto's pop time on the play was 1.76 seconds, which is the fastest on any caught-stealing at second base since Statcast™ started in 2015. Rosario's sprint speed on the play was 28.5 feet per second, above the MLB average of 27. Mattingly then joked with Realmuto that Statcast™ wasn't around when Hall of Famer Johnny Bench was playing. Nimmo, who was at the plate, cranked his homer moments later.

"I didn't know [what I did] until after the game," Realmuto said. "Straily gave me a good pitch to throw on. I had a pretty good idea Rosario was looking to run there, just trying to get something going. I was able to put a good throw down there. It worked out for us."

Video: MIA@NYM: J.T. Realmuto throws out Amed Rosario

Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom was solid, pitching seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out eight. The Marlins had a chance to score against the right-hander in the fifth inning. The Marlins had runners on first and second with one out, but Realmuto and Justin Bour struck out to end the threat.

SOUND SMART
Outfielder Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch twice in Wednesday's game and now has been hit eight times this season, which is second in the Majors to the Cubs' Kris Bryant (nine). Dietrich led the National League in hit-by-pitches in 2016 with 24.

UP NEXT
The Marlins have the day off on Thursday, but they'll return to Miami to open a three-game series against the Nationals on Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Right-hander Jose Urena will take the mound for Miami in his third career start against Washington. Last year, Urena was 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA against the Nationals. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer will pitch for Washington, and he is having another Cy Young Award-caliber season. So far in May, Scherzer is 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA, and opposing hitters are hitting .177.

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Miami Marlins

Lopez continues to dominate in Minors

MLB.com @GoldenSombrero

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.

Brendan McKay has a legitimate chance of becoming Major League Baseball's next two-way star. Right now, however, the Rays' No. 3 prospect is standing out more for his success on the mound.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Thursday.

Brendan McKay has a legitimate chance of becoming Major League Baseball's next two-way star. Right now, however, the Rays' No. 3 prospect is standing out more for his success on the mound.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

McKay, MLB Pipeline's No. 24 overall prospect, tossed six scoreless innings on Thursday, leading Class A Advanced Charlotte in a shutout of Fort Myers, 1-0. Entering the game in the third inning in relief of rehabbing big leaguer Yonny Chirinos, McKay allowed three hits, hit one batter and struck out three as he improved to 2-0 in as many outings for the Stone Crabs.

McKay, 22, has now worked 23 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run dating back to his April 28 start with Class A Bowling Green. He's permitted just four hits while striking out 10 in 11 innings for Charlotte after posting a 1.09 ERA with 40 strikeouts and two walks over 24 2/3 frames (six starts) in the Midwest League.

Overall, McKay has pitched to a combined 0.76 ERA and 0.39 WHIP, with an equally impressive 50-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .101 opponents' average, in 35 2/3 innings (eight appearances/six starts) between the two levels.

At the plate, meanwhile, the left-handed-hitting first baseman has produced a .247/.434/.318 batting line, totaling four extra-base hits, 18 RBIs and more walks (30) than strikeouts (20) in 26 games.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Thursday

• No. 2 overall prospect (Blue Jays' No. 1) Vladimir Guerrero Jr's solo shot and Bo Bichette's (No. 11 overall, Blue Jays' No. 2) two-run homer accounted for all of Double-A New Hampshire's offense in a 4-3 loss against Reading. They both finished 2-for-4 at the plate, with Bichette also reaching once via a walk and recording his 10th stolen base in the contest. The 19-year-old Guerrero boosted his Minor League-best average to .427 with his third straight multihit performance, and he's now up to nine home runs and 46 RBIs through 42 games.

Guerrero Jr. hits another homer

• No. 17 overall prospect Alex Reyes (Cardinals' No. 1) struck out the side on three occasions and fanned nine consecutive batters -- breaking a 116-year Pacific Coast League record -- en route to racking up 13 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Memphis. He allowed one hit and one walk, throwing 52 of his 76 pitches for strikes in the outing. The 23-year-old righty has dominated while working his way back from 2017 Tommy John surgery, piling up 44 strikeouts and allowing just seven hits in 23 scoreless innings (four starts) across three levels.

Reyes notches 13th strikeout

• No. 56 overall prospect Dylan Cease (White Sox No. 5) completed a career-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits, as he recorded his sixth win in nine starts for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The 22-year-old right-hander issued two walks and struck out nine, sitting in the upper 90s and touching 99 mph against his final batter. He's pitched to a 2.83 ERA with 57 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings this season.

Cease's ninth strikeout

• No. 57 overall prospect Jo Adell (Angels' No. 1) connected on his first California League home run, hitting a two-run shot as well as a double in his third game since joining Class A Advanced Inland Empire. The 19-year-old outfielder earned a quick promotion after hitting .326/.398/.611 with six homers, seven doubles and 29 RBIs in 25 games with Class A Burlington.

• No. 74 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 3) posted his second straight scoreless start as Triple-A Rochester blanked Lehigh Valley, 2-0. He scattered four hits and four walks over five innings, striking out five and generating another six outs on the ground. Nick Gordon (No. 76 overall, Twins' No. 4), playing in his third Triple-A game, hit a pair of doubles and scored a run to pace the Red Wings offensively.

• After going 0-for-8 in his first two Triple-A games, Angels' No. 8 prospect Matt Thaiss erupted to hit a pair of solo homers and went 3-for-6 as Salt Lake outslugged Albuquerque, 16-11. The 23-year-old first baseman, a first-round pick in 2016, earned a promotion to the Minors' highest level after slashing .287/.352/.490 with six homers and 10 doubles in 40 games with Double-A Mobile.

Thaiss' second homer

Astros' No. 9 prospect Corbin Martin racked up a season-high nine strikeouts and allowed just two hits as he completed a career-best 7 2/3 scoreless frames in a no-decision for Double-A Corpus Christi against Springfield. He threw 88 pitches, 63 for strikes in the outing and generated eight ground-ball outs. The 2017 second-round pick has given up just two earned runs over his last 22 innings (three starts/four appearances) since allowing six earned runs on five hits and lasted just 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut.

Martin's ninth strikeout

• After striking out 18 batters over 9 2/3 innings in two big league starts, Brewers No. 9 prospect Freddy Peralta returned to Triple-A Colorado Springs and struck out eight over five scoreless innings to earn the win against Nashville. He permitted as many hits as walks (three), while throwing 57 of his 94 pitches for strikes. The 21-year-old righty is 6-1 in eight Triple-A starts, during which he's pitched to a 3.18 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings.

• Starting for Springfield opposite of Corpus Christi's Martin, Cardinals' No. 19 prospect Jake Woodford took a no-decision despite completing eight scoreless frames during which he scattered six hits, walked two and struck out five. The 21-year-old righty owns a 3.98 ERA in 54 1/3 innings and has finished five innings in eight of his 10 starts, including six straight.

Marlins' No. 21 prospect Pablo Lopez allowed five hits and struck out five over six scoreless innings in another lights-out start for Double-A Jacksonville. The 22-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA from 0.28 to 0.24 with the performance, extending his lead over the field on the Southern League leaderboard. Lopez has not allowed an earned run in six of his seven turns this season, posting a 0.82 WHIP with 42 strikeouts and seven walks in 37 2/3 innings.

Mets' No. 1 prospect Andres Gimenez extended his hitting streak to nine games with a 3-for-3 performance that included a double in Class A Advanced St. Lucie's 4-2 win over Daytona. He also worked a walk, scored a pair of runs and stole three bases, giving him 15 steals on the season, second-most in the Florida State League. Overall, the 19-year-old shortstop owns a .287/.356/.441 batting line with 15 extra-base hits through 40 games in the pitcher-friendly league.

Red Sox No. 11 prospect Josh Ockimey hit a three-run homer and reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and two runs scored in Double-A Portland's 12-2 win over Hartford. It was the fifth home run and second straight two-hit game for the 22-year-old first baseman, who's slashing .255/.381/.445 through 32 games.

• Twins' No. 8 prospect Brent Rooker went deep twice for Double-A Chattanooga in his first career multihomer game. The 23-year-old first baseman hit a two-run blast in his first at-bat and added a solo shot in his third trip to the plate, finishing 2-for-5 with three RBIs. He's homered six times in 43 games this season after totaling 18 homers in 62 games across two levels during his pro debut.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Mattingly talks development, Jeter, NY in Q&A

MLB.com @ladsonbill24

In a recent sitdown, Marlins manager Don Mattingly answered questions on subjects ranging from player development to his new boss, Derek Jeter, the club's chief executive officer.

MLB.com: After losing Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and others after the 2017 season, a lot of experts expected the team to have one of the worst records in baseball. But looking at this team, it has been competitive. What do you think?

In a recent sitdown, Marlins manager Don Mattingly answered questions on subjects ranging from player development to his new boss, Derek Jeter, the club's chief executive officer.

MLB.com: After losing Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon and others after the 2017 season, a lot of experts expected the team to have one of the worst records in baseball. But looking at this team, it has been competitive. What do you think?

Don Mattingly: We lost some good players. I think we had an understanding from our meetings in the winter of what direction we were going and what the objective was. That is to build a championship club. The clear message from Derek was, 'This is not working,' and we had to build the (farm) system. So there were some things that had to be done.

The way you play is how you win games. From that mindset, the guys have played hard. We have won our share. We should have won more. That's part of our growth. We were not listening to the outside noise. In a sense, our players have taken that personally. They see the changes that are going on. It's different here now than what it was. They see it and there is going to be an expectation and accountability for the way you play, the way you prepare, the way you treat people. That's going to be consistent.

MLB.com: How different is it compared to when you first came to Miami?

Mattingly: It's a little different. I don't want to get into the past, but I think it's about being consistent and a lot more thought of developing and knowing who we have to be successful, and that starts with development in the Minor Leagues and making sure we are focused on that as an organization. And then, as a Major League club, it's about competition.

MLB.com: When it comes to on the field, what have you liked so far?

Mattingly: The attitude has been great. I think the buy-in has been good with what we are trying to do. We love our young pitching. That's one of the things that stood out. That has been exciting to watch.

We lost some guys and that opened some doors for other guys. We see Brian Anderson give us quality at-bats all the way through and starting to show he is a guy we can depend on. As part of a group, we've seen Lewis Brinson. He hasn't had that success yet, but we see flashes of it. The defensive side has been tremendous. It's given Miguel Rojas a chance to play every day. He has been one of our best players on a day-in and day-out basis. Tayron Guerrero had trouble throwing strikes in the past, but now he is starting to be a force. You see the bright spots and you can see where can we build. How do we build a championship? Is this the right guy for this club? Does he compete? Is he prepared all the time? There are lots of things that are going on. We are trying to gather information on a lot of different things.

MLB.com: The Yankees and Nationals have recently relied heavily on their farm system. Does it give you hope that things will turn around in Miami?

Mattingly: Absolutely. Further than those clubs, Houston -- what they were able to do. Philadelphia is starting to do it. Atlanta is doing it. Kansas City won a championship with their system and putting things together with trades or whatever that may be. I know I look at it as this is the way to win. We are a club that is not going to be able to compete financially with New York or L.A. or Boston, who have huge TV deals and things like that. But you can compete by doing things better at the Minor League level, developing your own talent, having good Drafts, good international signings. When it's time to make trades, you can get good pieces back.

MLB.com: What do you want to see the team improve on?

Mattingly: Offensively, we have to continue to have a good approach at the plate. ... From the pitching side, I want to see it be more consistent from our starters, from our young guys. I want to see growth, that they are getting better all the time.

MLB.com: You started your managerial career with the Dodgers and there was a lot of winning there. With the Marlins, that hasn't been the case. How do you keep your sanity?

Mattingly: When I started there, I went through the same type of thing. I went through an ownership change. We were one of those clubs where we were using a lot of Minor League guys. New ownership changed the course for the Dodgers, so I look at the situation as the same. I love what the Marlins are doing. I think it's exhilarating trying to develop and build something. That's what I look forward to, not only the competition on a day-to-day basis, but walking that tightrope of us growing and getting better and having your eyes on where we are going.

MLB.com: Dating back to your playing days, you have always been a calm guy. Who taught you to stay calm?

Mattingly: I don't know about that. I've had my share of losing my temper, but I always felt you have to stay under control. I watched a guy like Julius Erving. I remember a huge fight on the basketball court. The guys were running all around and crazy and Doc is on one knee and calm. He stayed under control and knew where he was at. I don't know if it's from my parents. My dad was pretty calm and level-headed. Concentration and focus is more important than emotions.

MLB.com: As young as you were with the Yankees, you didn't get to the Billy Martin level and lose your temper.

Mattingly: I don't think you have to. I think emotions are important. You have to have that fight inside of you. Some guys show it outwardly. You can have that same fire that Billy Martin had, but it doesn't have to come out (to the forefront). As long as it's burning on the inside and that focus is there, it shows through your play and it comes out like that. For me, I try to turn that energy into concentration and focus.

MLB.com: You come from Indiana and you played in a city where there was a lot of media. How much did playing in New York help you?

Mattingly: I thought New York was a perfect place for me. I'm pretty quiet in general. On the field, I felt like I could be who I wanted to be. In New York, all I cared about was the playing on the field. I was always confident in that. I think New York was the perfect place for me because I could be myself off the field. You didn't have to seek attention. You want attention as a player because you want to be doing well. I felt I got plenty of attention just by being myself and letting my play show.

MLB.com: Everybody knows about your career with the Yankees. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about New York?

Mattingly: Probably the first time driving into New York after getting called up to the big leagues and just seeing the skyline and Yankee Stadium. I'm walking through that tunnel and that memory is always on my mind. It was exciting getting called up.

MLB.com: You love that city, don't you?

Mattingly: I do. I love coming back here. My wife loves it. We love the plays. We love the energy here. It's a great place. It's a great place to play. It makes you better. It forces you to be good all the time. You can't rest on your laurels here. It's an everyday city. It's a tough city. People are tough and they want guys who work hard and do their jobs. That was good for me.

MLB.com: Even though you didn't win a championship in New York, people think of you as a guy who won a championship by the way you played. How do you feel about that?

Mattingly: I'm proud of the way I played. Sometimes you don't get to choose your time. ... The only thing that you have is how you handle yourself and how you played the game. ... I hope I helped young players when they came in and that is to play the game right and uphold the Yankee tradition. I feel good about everything.

MLB.com: How badly do you want to win a championship?

Mattingly: How do you answer that? Like really bad or kind of bad? It's a goal. It's out there. As a player, I didn't get that chance to even play in a World Series. I've been in the playoffs as a manager and as a coach and we came close. But it's the ultimate goal. It's what everybody wants to do.

MLB.com: Did you learn from Joe Torre, who had to wait a long time to win a World Series title?

Mattingly: I learn from everyone, honestly. I learned from Joe, for sure -- his relationship with players, staying calm on the bench, just things about dealing with the season and the length of it. There is a lot to learn.

MLB.com: You now work for Jeter. Tell me what that experience has been like.

Mattingly: It's been great, honestly. Derek has been consistent. He is exactly who you think he would be -- that fire to compete and for us to get better. He understands where we are trying to go. And just knowing that he is there, it's give you a lot of confidence what you are doing. You know the guy that's leading the ship, you know the mindset and you know the toughness of that mindset. It gives you confidence that what we are doing is the right thing.

MLB.com: What's the biggest thing he said to you and it made you say, "Yeah, he is pretty right on this"?

Mattingly: There isn't one thing. He just has been consistent. The one thing that he said from the beginning is that we have a plan and we are going to stick to it. As soon as you hear that, you know that is going to be consistent. He is not saying it. It's what he believes and what he thinks and what he is going to try to do.

MLB.com: How important is this Draft?

Mattingly: The Draft is always big because you don't realize that the guy you pick may be the cornerstone of what you are going to try to do. He may be that No. 1 pitcher. He may be that position player that takes you over the top. It's not just that one guy you are looking for. It's probably a group of guys that create a competition within your organization that forces other guys to be better. It sets you up with depth.

MLB.com: What's ahead for Don Mattingly? How long do you have in this game?

Mattingly: I don't know. I like working. I feel great. I feel young, for the most part. I don't see any reason to not work. I don't know what I would do if I went home and watched TV and played golf. I enjoy things away from the field, but I have the energy for developing things, not only managing the game, but developing players, helping the players get better. That's always been my mindset as a coach. As a manager, you are trying to get the best out of your players. You want them to be the best players they can be. You always look at that first. If they can become the best players they can be, then we end up having a group that is really good.

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-16. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.