Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Marlins News

Anderson hits trio of HRs to fuel Marlins' bats

@JoeFrisaro
September 19, 2020

It’s taking a group effort by the Marlins as they make their playoff push. But in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Friday night, one of the young faces of the franchise, Brian Anderson, stepped up with a historic performance. The 27-year-old third baseman matched franchise marks with three home

It’s taking a group effort by the Marlins as they make their playoff push.

But in Game 2 of a doubleheader on Friday night, one of the young faces of the franchise, Brian Anderson, stepped up with a historic performance. The 27-year-old third baseman matched franchise marks with three home runs and seven RBIs to help power Miami to a 14-3 victory over the Nationals.

Box score

Anderson is the first player to have a three-homer game at Marlins Park, which opened in 2012. His performance helped the Marlins gain a doubleheader split after they were shut out, 5-0, in the opener.

“It was really cool,” Anderson said. “Having a multi-homer game is something that is pretty special. It's something that me, as a player, I don't get to do too often, let alone hit three.”

Anderson, a core part of the franchise’s building process, is just the third Marlin to belt three homers in a game. The other two were Mike Lowell at the Phillies on April 21, 2004, and Cody Ross at home against the Mets on Sept. 11, 2006.

Anderson posted the fifth seven-RBI game in Marlins history. Adeiny Hechavarria had the most recent one, on May 5, 2013, at the Phillies.

“I'm trying to take each at-bat for what it is, trying to go up there and get a good pitch, and put a good swing on it, and help the team,” Anderson said. “Today was the long ball. We’re trying to ride this wave and keep it going for us.”

Anderson has played in all 50 games for Miami and paces the club in homers (nine) and RBIs (34).

Making Anderson’s night even more impressive is the fact the game was seven innings, as are all doubleheaders in this unprecedented 60-game season.

Now 26-24, the Marlins are clinging to second place in the National League East, a half-game in front of the Phillies, who swept a doubleheader against the Blue Jays. The top two finishers in each division earn a playoff spot, along with two Wild Cards.

In the second inning, Anderson’s solo homer off Wil Crowe tied the game, 2-2. Anderson then helped break the game open with a three-run drive off James Bourque in a four-run fifth inning. With the game out of hand in the sixth inning, Anderson deposited another three-run homer, this time off position player Brock Holt.

"He’s a good player, a good hitter," Crowe said. "I actually had him where I wanted him. I think I had him 0-2. I threw a fastball up, maybe, or away, 0-2. Then I had him in a changeup spot for me. That’s a go-to pitch. I wanted to throw it on the plate, throw it right behind the plate. As soon as I let go of it, I knew it wasn’t where I wanted it to be."

Anderson now has two multihomer games. He hit two homers on Aug. 8, 2019, at home against the Braves.

Anderson has been an unsung performer at his position since he became a regular in 2018. His fWAR was 3.4 in 156 games in his rookie season. In ’19, it was 3.1 in 126 games, and he missed the final six weeks of the season with a broken bone in his left hand.

“I think it's there,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Anderson’s power potential. “He ended up hitting 20 last year, and missed like the last month, or a little bit more. It was starting to come. He's a guy who has a good swing. He uses the whole field, and the homers are going to be part of his game. We're seeing it. He's going to get better and better. He's got room to grow, and the more confidence he gets. He's getting better and better as he goes.”

In Year 3 of a building process led by chief executive officer Derek Jeter, the Marlins are fighting to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

“That's ultimately what we were told with the new ownership,” Anderson said. “That's what they wanted. They wanted to win, and they wanted to bring guys in who are about winning and that mentality.

“It's happening a little bit sooner than, I think, most people thought. The shortened season helps us a little bit. We've got some great young arms, some great young position players, some older guys who are giving us some consistent at-bats. We're going to make a run at this and see how far we can take it.”

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