Marlins lean on pitching in win over Astros

March 11th, 2017

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- belted a two-run homer and starting pitcher Scott Copeland threw three perfect innings in the Marlins' 4-2 win over the Astros Saturday afternoon at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Dietrich's third-inning home run, his first of the Grapefruit League season, bounced off the foul pole in right field and extended the Marlins' lead to 3-0.

Copeland, meanwhile, struck out two and got four groundouts in rebounding from a pair of relief appearances, in which he gave up five earned runs over three innings of work. He threw 37 pitches, 22 of those for strikes.

"I think having a baby was good for him," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Copeland. "He is a father now. We're trying to get him back on a schedule. He kind of fits into that starter/bridge-guy mode for us. He has big league experience. He can sink the ball. That's what we saw today, keeping the ball down."

The Astros were held hitless until a sixth-inning triple by shortstop off Marlins reliever Kelvin Marte highlighted a two-run rally. It was one of just two hits for the Astros off five Marlins pitchers.

Astros starter , the club's No. 1 prospect as ranked by, did not make it out of the first inning. The right-hander walked two and gave up a run on one hit before exiting after 30 pitches (17 for strikes).

Martes started in place of right-hander Mike Fiers, who was scratched due to right hamstring discomfort. A non-roster invitee, Martes worked 3 2/3 innings in two previous relief appearances allowing two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out one.

"It was a good experience for him to have to battle some tough at-bats," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We rescued him a little bit. He got up to 30 pitches; it's Spring Training, we're not going to risk anything in early March."

Marlins Up Next: The Marlins will be the home team at Roger Dean Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET (MLB.TV) against the Cardinals. Right-hander Tom Koehler goes for Miami, with St. Louis starting . Dee Gordon, , , and are among the regular position players scheduled to start.

Astros Up Next: The Astros stay at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for a 1:05 p.m. ET start (MLB.TV) as visitors to the Washington Nationals on Sunday. Left-hander is scheduled to make his first start of the Grapefruit League season. It's his first outing since being shut down late last August with inflammation in his rotator cuff.

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