MIAMI -- At Triple-A New Orleans this year, Isan Diaz raised his profile by appearing in the Sirius XM Futures Game and belting 26 home runs. But since being promoted to the big leagues on Aug. 5, the 23-year-old second-base prospect has had his struggles at the plate and in the field.
On Friday night, Diaz resembled the player the Marlins believe will be their second baseman of the future. Diaz belted a game-tying three-run homer in a seven-run third inning and walked and scored in an improbable 19-11 comeback victory over the Phillies at Marlins Park. The 19 runs set a record for Miami at Marlins Park.
“It's a big boost for me,” said Diaz, playing in his 17th big league game. “It feels really good to contribute. For me, it's really just getting back to how things were when I was down in Triple-A. Really just try to move forward from this and use it as an opportunity to get back to what I'm capable of doing.”
Starlin “All Starlin” Castro came off the bench and blasted a pair of two-run homers and finished with five RBIs. Castro had his fifth career multi-homer game and first since Aug. 22, 2016, at Seattle.
“If I knew a half game off of rest would do that, I would do that with a lot of guys,” manager Don Mattingly joked about Castro’s big night. “To come off the bench and hit two home runs is obviously pretty cool for a guy.”
Jon “Birdman” Berti’s home run followed Castro’s shot in the ninth inning, capping the Marlins’ season-high runs total.
The 19-hit offensive outburst came on the first night of Players’ Weekend, with the Marlins wearing all-white uniforms and the Phillies clad in all black.
Because Diaz was promoted earlier in the month, he didn’t have time to sport a catchy nickname on the back of his jersey.
“I think Isan is going to be fine,” Mattingly said. “You can see the swing. See what's there, and he will work and get better. It's as simple as that. He will work and get better.”
Castro is an established veteran, who has moved to third base to clear room for Diaz, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 84 overall prospect.
Diaz went 1-for-20 with seven strikeouts and six errors on the Marlins’ six-game road trip, where they lost each game.
Along with the homer, Diaz made some nice plays in the field. Of late, including Friday, he’s done some extra early work on the field.
“I’m using the early work to gain confidence back and put myself in game situations,” Diaz said. “Just kind of slow us down and focus on being consistent, catching it and getting outs.”
The Marlins rallied from seven back off Velasquez in the third inning. Diaz blasted his homer 361 feet to right with a 101.5 mph exit speed per Statcast. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the third inning was the first time in club history that Miami overcame a deficit of seven-plus runs in one inning. They are the first MLB team to do so since the Cardinals scored 10 when trailing 7-0 in the fifth at the Reds on July 19 this year.
“That inning, we continued to pass the baton, pass the baton,” Diaz said. “Everyone was contributing in that inning. I was just trying to do my part.”
The Marlins also set a franchise record of scoring at least 13 runs in back-to-back home games. On Aug. 15, they beat the Dodgers, 13-7, at Marlins Park.
Also from Elias, the Marlins are the first team to win by eight-plus runs after trailing by seven runs since the Yankees beat Tampa Bay 20-11 on June 21, 2005. New York trailed by eight.
“I never would have thought it would end like this with the way it started,” Mattingly said.