MIAMI -- Miami welcomed back a pair of familiar faces to Marlins Park on Saturday and both played key roles in a 4-1 win over the Rockies, evening the three-game series at one game apiece.Through five innings, the Rockies did little against Marlins left-handed starter Wei-Yin Chen (1-0), who was
MIAMI -- Miami welcomed back a pair of familiar faces to Marlins Park on Saturday and both played key roles in a 4-1 win over the Rockies, evening the three-game series at one game apiece.
Through five innings, the Rockies did little against Marlins left-handed starter Wei-Yin Chen (1-0), who was making his first Major League start since May 1 of last season. But Charlie Blackmon opened the sixth inning with a 429-foot home run into the right center-field seats to cut the Marlins' lead to 3-1. It was his ninth homer of the season and eighth on the road.
Ian Desmond followed with a double and a one-out single by Trevor Story put the tying runs on base marking the end of Chen's long-awaited return.
"It looked like he was moving the ball in and out," manager Bud Black said of Chen's success. "It looked like there wasn't a lot of bad misses. The fastball was a little sneaky velocity. We knew he had a little life in his fastball. It was more about the fastball command."
The Marlins worked out of the jam when reliever Nick Wittgren struck out Chris Iannetta and then got Gerardo Parra to fly out to end the inning.
Derek Dietrich got that run back for the Marlins, leading off the seventh inning with his third home run of the year, a 393-foot blast off Rockies reliever and former Marlin Mike Dunn.
Martin Prado (2-for-4), in just his second game since July 17, 2017, drove in the Marlins' first two runs with a first-inning fielder's choice grounder and a third-inning double. A knee injury shortened last season for Miami's third baseman, and a hamstring injury in Spring Training delayed his return.
Rockies starter German Marquez (1-3) finished strong, retiring the last seven batters he faced -- four by strikeout. He went six innings, throwing a career-high 113 pitches, mainly due to early-inning troubles.
"From the beginning, I was a little excited," Marquez said. "I calmed down, that was the biggest adjustment. My approach was to hit the target, get a ground ball to get off the mound quick."
He labored through a 29-pitch first inning trying to find command of his fastball. Marquez walked two of the first three batters he faced and fell into a 3-0 hole, yielding single runs in the first, third and fourth innings.
"He battled, it wasn't as though he was scattered," said Black. "He didn't land the breaking ball early, but he hung in there. It got better as the game went on. A lot of times in this day and age, you go six innings and give up three [runs], a lot of times that's thought of to be a really good outing."
The 113 pitches were the most by a Rockies pitcher this season. The six-inning stint, with just two earned runs allowed and six strikeouts, was Marquez's second quality start of the year.
"I felt good, really good. I don't mind at all [throwing that many pitches]," Marquez said. "I want to get as deep into the game as possible. That's what I've worked hard for in the offseason, to build endurance and to go deep into games."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Rockies were unable to come through in clutch situations. Parra grounded into a double play to end a potential threat in the fourth inning and the Rockies left seven runners on base. Colorado has scored just one run in each of the first two games of the three-game series. But Parra doesn't believe the Rockies are jinxed at Marlins Park, a place they have historically had trouble scoring runs.
"That's baseball. Every day is something different," Parra said. "Maybe tomorrow everybody hits it good. There's nothing I can say, that's baseball. Tomorrow's another day."
Desmond was hit by pitch in both the first and eighth innings. The last Rockies player to be hit by pitch twice in a game was Jonathan Lucroy last season.
HE SAID IT
"We're going to, at times, push these guys because we need them. And actually, they're up for it. Guys want to pitch, especially young guys." -- Black, referring to Marquez's career-high 113 pitches on Saturday
The Rockies conclude the first leg of a three-city, nine-game road trip when they wrap up a three-game series with Miami at Marlins Park on Sunday. They'll face struggling left-hander Caleb Smith, who is 0-3 in his last four outings, posting a 7.16 ERA. He averaged slightly better than four innings per stint in those four starts. Right-hander Chad Bettis goes for the Rockies, with first pitch set for 11:10 a.m. MT.
Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Miami.