MIAMI -- The showdown lasted nearly eight minutes and featured six straight foul balls with two strikes. Closure finally came on the 14th pitch when A.J. Ellis laced a nearly 100 mph Archie Bradley fastball into center field for an RBI single that lifted the Marlins to a 6-5 victory
MIAMI -- The showdown lasted nearly eight minutes and featured six straight foul balls with two strikes. Closure finally came on the 14th pitch when A.J. Ellis laced a nearly 100 mph Archie Bradley fastball into center field for an RBI single that lifted the Marlins to a 6-5 victory over the D-backs on Sunday afternoon.
Ellis grinded out what was possibly the best at-bat of the season for the Marlins, and the impact of the hit enabled Miami to take three of four in the series, and eight of 10 on the homestand.
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For Ellis, coming through in the clutch was as much exhaustion as it was relief.
"I was just glad I didn't have to swing anymore," Ellis said. "My back and my obliques were getting gassed. It was a great feeling for the team. Great for us to put a run ahead."
According to Statcast™, Bradley's fastball was 99.8 mph. Ellis put a solid swing on it with an exit velocity of 87.4 mph, lining the decisive hit in a back-and-forth game
"A couple of those that he fouled off, I turn around and they're 99. It's like, 'Man,' you know? It's one of those at-bats that's baseball," Bradley said. "You've gotta tip your cap. He put a hell of an at-bat together."
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It's not often any hitter has success on pitches at 99 mph or higher. Ellis, per Statcast™, delivered just the third hit of the season for a Miami player on a pitch tracked at that velocity. The other two were J.T. Realmuto's triple (99.6 mph) and Miguel Rojas' single (99.1), both against Tampa Bay's Jose Alvarado on May 3.
"Not only a big at-bat, it was a great at-bat," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "At the end, to get the hit and drive in the run, which was big, but at that point, it was a great at-bat no matter what happens. Obviously, a big moment in the game."
The D-backs, no-hit by Edinson Volquez on Saturday, wasted little time getting their first hit out of the way, as Daniel Descalso doubled to lead off the game and scored on Paul Goldschmidt's RBI single. But Tyler Moore knocked a three-run homer in the second, giving the Marlins an early lead.
Arizona starter Braden Shipley, who got called up for the start, took a no-decision in his second big league outing of the season. The right-hander allowed five runs -- four earned -- and scattered seven hits, with three walks and three strikeouts through five innings.
"I thought we played good baseball," said D-backs manager Torey Lovullo, whose club tagged Marlins starter Vance Worley for five runs in 3 2/3 innings. "We came out after a very tough game yesterday, got some early hits, scored an early run and set a better tone. We had some opportunities, and it just didn't translate."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hustle play for double:Derek Dietrich lifted two sacrifice flies, giving him a couple of RBIs before he came to bat in the seventh inning. Facing left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, Dietrich ripped a ball into the gap in right-center. Hustling out of the box, Dietrich stretched the hit into a double. He scored the go-ahead run on Ellis' two-out single.
"I was thinking two right out of the box," Dietrich said. "I hit it hard on the ground, so I knew it was going to split the outfielders. It's one of those plays, one out, you get on second base. Obviously, an unbelievable at-bat by A.J."
Catcher's interference, tying run: The Marlins gained a baserunner in the sixth inning the unconventional way. After Giancarlo Stanton laced a double, which was tracked by Statcast™ at 113.5 mph, Christian Yelich was awarded first base on catcher's interference. Initially, home-plate umpire Kerwin Danley didn't see it. But replays showed on Yelich's swing, his bat clipped the glove of Chris Iannetta, causing it to almost come off his hand. Yelich pleaded his case, and eventually the umpires gathered, ruling it interference, which is scored as an error on the catcher.
Two batters later, the Marlins pulled even at 5 on Dietrich's sacrifice fly to left.
"I'm glad to come through a little bit early in the game. Just trying to get the guy in from third really and stay small with it. It ended up being a good pitch to hit." -- Moore, on his three-run homer
"There was some ballgames that we could've won had some plays gone our way, had we executed a little differently. That's the beauty of baseball. Sometimes it doesn't happen the way you want it to. But these guys are resilient. They're gonna digest what happened, grow and learn from it and be ready for the next one." -- Lovullo, on dropping three of four to the Marlins
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SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
After being no-hit by Volquez on Saturday, the D-backs had gone 13 2/3 innings without a hit before Descalso doubled to lead off the game. Prior to Sunday, Arizona's last hit was in the fifth inning on Friday, a single by Jake Lamb. The D-backs had just two baserunners in those 13 2/3 frames.
CREW CHIEF REVIEW
Goldschmidt scorched a line drive that clanked off the wall in center field for an RBI double in the fourth inning. The ball bounced off a nook near the yellow padding at the foot of the home run sculpture. The D-backs sought a crew chief challenge to see if the ball was actually a home run. After a review of 36 seconds, the call was confirmed. Still, per Statcast™, Goldschmidt's drive projected at 417 feet with an exit velocity of 108 mph.
D-backs: After completing a stretch of 17 consecutive games, the D-backs get a much deserved off-day before opening a three-game home set against the Padres on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Left-hander Robbie Ray (5-3, 3.00 ERA) seeks his fourth straight win, while San Diego sends out rookie Dinelson Lamet (2-0, 2.70 ERA).
Marlins: The Marlins open a three-game series with the Cubs beginning at 8:05 p.m. ET on Monday at Wrigley Field. Dan Straily (4-3, 3.56 ERA) has won three straight decisions and starts for Miami. Right-hander Eddie Butler (2-1, 4.42 ERA) goes for Chicago.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami and covered the D-backs on Sunday.