Hechavarria, Morse triple Marlins' total with two blasts
Shortstop drives in three on career day; slugger launches 100th career homer
ATLANTA -- For the most part, the Marlins haven't had much to cheer about in the early going of the season. On Wednesday, they had two reasons to rejoice -- Adeiny Hechavarria's 26th birthday and Michael Morse's milestone.
Hechavarria connected on a two-run homer and Morse added a solo shot in the Marlins' 6-2 win over the Braves at Turner Field. Miami took two of three at Atlanta, claiming its first series win.
Morse's home run was the 100th of his career, and he was able to retrieve the ball. Hechavarria, who hadn't homered since Aug. 27, 2014, provided the early boost that had his teammates singing in the dugout.
Hechavarria took lefty Eric Stults deep to left in the fifth inning, breaking open a four-run lead. After the Miami shortstop touched home and headed to the dugout, he was greeted by his teammates clapping and singing "Happy birthday!"
"It was something that gave me a lot of emotion," the Cuban-born Hechavarria said through a translator. "It was fun. When I stepped on home, I saw they were singing "Happy Birthday" and clapping for me. It made me emotional."
In front of the dugout, Hechavarria and Dee Gordon did a quick dance that they've rehearsed since the end of Spring Training.
"That's something he and I talked about at the beginning of the season," Hechavarria said. "If he hits a home run or I hit one, or we win the game, he's going to give me a high five, do a gesture and say 'uuufff.'"
Hechavarria's catch phrase is "uuufff," which he says whenever he sees something that impresses him. He has the expression written on his glove.
According to Elias Sports, Hechavarria is the first MLB player with three hits and three RBIs on his birthday since Minnesota's Trevor Plouffe on June 15, 2013. The only other Marlin to do so is Jeff Conine on June 27, 2004.
Miami also entered Wednesday last in the Majors with one homer. The two big blasts lightened the mood.
"One thing I've noticed about this team is we have fun," Morse said. "In Spring Training, we were very relaxed and we had fun. When you win, that starts coming out.
"We're playing better baseball than we have in the past. Guys are having more fun. Guys are more relaxed. It's showing on the field."
In the sixth inning, it was Morse's turn to go deep for No. 100.
"It's pretty cool," said Morse, the first Broward County, Fla., native to homer for the Marlins. "I'm fortunate to be able to play this game long enough to reach that."