LOS ANGELES -- The Marlins hadn’t led in either of the first two games of the weekend series against the Dodgers and were looking for some life in the finale. Then Adam Duvall happened.
After starter Pablo López reached base on an error to lead off the fifth inning, newly activated shortstop Jazz Chisholm Jr. followed with a single. But it was Duvall who delivered the loudest swing for Miami.
With two outs, Duvall homered to left field, sending a sinker from Edwin Uceta into the second deck at Dodger Stadium to give his ballclub its first lead of the weekend in the 3-2 win at Dodger Stadium.
If that wasn’t enough, Duvall also showed up on defense in the bottom half of the inning.
He came up firing on a single to right field by Matt Beaty that could have scored Mookie Betts, who led off the inning with a double. The throw got to catcher Chad Wallach on a line and he was able to apply the inning-ending tag on a leaping Betts.
For López, who went five innings and allowed two runs, standing on third base to see Duvall’s homer and being on the mound for the defensive gem energized him.
“I thought it was pretty cool that I was on third when he hit the homer, because I was just on the line, so I was able to see the ball just staying fair and I was pretty pumped,” López said. “When I saw the line drive leaving the bat, [Beaty] didn't hit it with the barrel so it was a soft liner, but then [Duvall] got to it super quick and then he made that really nice throw.”
In May, Duvall has been one of the Marlins' more productive hitters. In his last nine games coming into Sunday, he had hit .333 with a 1.007 OPS and 11 RBIs. Duvall hit just .188 in April.
“I'm feeling good at the plate,” Duvall said. “I'm seeing the ball well. … I'm able to swing at the pitches that I want to swing at and that's a big key in today's game. ... Being able to swing at the ones you want to swing at is the first of many things you need to accomplish in order to hit the ball hard, so I feel like I've been doing that.“
Much of that damage has come with men on base. When it comes to hitting with runners in scoring position, Duvall has posted a .333 average and a 1.084 OPS and has 23 RBIs through his first 39 at-bats in that situation.
Duvall said the success with hitting with runners in scoring position hasn’t been a change in his mindset at the plate, but rather making good contact when it matters most.
“I would like to say that there was a certain approach in those situations, but my approach just about every at-bat is the same,” he said. “It's just to get a good pitch to hit and try to barrel the crap out of it.
“Good things will happen if you can do those two things and I want the ball to feel like it was shot out of a cannon when it leaves the bat. That's the goal. It's not always going to happen. Sometimes it does more than others, but you know that's the goal when I step up to the plate.”