MIAMI -- Dan Straily's anticipated return gives the Marlins another established starter. But in his season debut, it was the right-hander's supporting cast that stepped up in an 8-4 win over the Phillies on Monday at Marlins Park.
Showing signs of rust, Straily labored through four innings, allowing four runs on six hits, but in the series opener, the defense and a four-RBI night from Brian Anderson helped Miami win its season-high third straight game.
"Getting out there tonight was a big step, and now it's getting to work," Straily said. "Fine tune in between starts. Tonight, it was frankly bad command of the breaking ball, and kind of turning myself into a one-pitch pitcher at times. Then, when I was throwing the slider, it was kind of in the dirt or over the plate."
Anderson had a two-run homer and a two-run double, and also made a diving catch to rob Carlos Santana of a run-scoring hit in the seventh inning. Starlin Castro added two doubles, had an RBI and scored two runs.
"For me not to have the outing I'm looking for, but to see guys like Castro and Anderson have nights like that, and Miggy [Rojas] making some plays on defense," Straily said. "Those types of things right there, just kind of remind you why we keep playing and keep working."
Originally lined up to be the Marlins' No. 2 starter, Straily opened the season on the disabled list with a right forearm strain. The four runs he allowed snapped a string of eight straight games by Marlins starters of allowing two or fewer runs.
"His command wasn't great," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "But you know what, it was his first time out. It was kind of like Opening Day for him. I expect him to be ready to go again and he will get better."
As Straily struggled to get through four innings, the Marlins jumped on Phillies starter Jacob Arrieta for six runs in 3 2/3 innings, scoring four times in the third inning. Derek Dietrich had an RBI, and Castro drove in two with a double in the inning.
The runs Straily allowed came on a pair of two-run homers. Jorge Alfaro connected in the second inning, and Maikel Franco went deep in the fourth.
Straily mixed up his pitches, throwing 35 four-seam fastballs and 21 sliders.
"Health-wise, we're good to go, it's just a matter of getting back to sharp," Straily said. "I thought we were there, but obviously, there's a few things missing."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Have yourself an inning, Mr. Anderson. The seventh inning belonged to the Marlins rookie, who is now playing right field because veteran Martin Prado is off the disabled list. Anderson made a diving grab on Santana's sinking line drive with the bases loaded in seventh inning. The catch, which came with one out, saved at least one run. The score was 6-4 at the time. In the bottom of the seventh, Anderson stepped up again, and crushed a two-run homer that gave Miami a four-run cushion. Statcast™ projected the blast at 427 feet.
"I don't know if I ever knew that I had it," Anderson said. "I saw it off the bat. I kind of drop-stepped, and misread it a little bit. I thought I had a play on it, and went for it, and was able to come up with it."
The Marlins set season highs with five doubles and six extra-base hits, counting Anderson's home run. Castro (two), Anderson, J.T. Realmuto, Dietrich each doubled.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Catchers throwing to the bases often is an overlooked part of the game. That's not necessarily the case when it is Realmuto attempting to toss out baserunners. In the third inning on Monday, Realmuto threw a dart to shortstop Miguel Rojas, who tagged out Odubel Herrera trying to steal second. The throw, according to Statcast™, was 85.8 mph, making it Realmuto's third-hardest toss to second this season, and the out ended the inning.
Marlins catchers have now thrown out 12 runners trying to steal, which is tops in the Majors.
HE SAID IT
"We've been throwing the baseball pretty good, and we'll see. When you get that type of pitching we've been getting, it takes pressure off your offense. If you play good defense, you're going to be in a lot of games." -- Mattingly, on reports ranking the Marlins as one of the worst teams
No matter the role, Jarlin Garcia has excelled. After starting off the season in the bullpen, Garcia will carry a 0.53 ERA as a starter into Tuesday against the Phillies at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. The lefty threw four innings, allowing two runs, in relief against the Phillies earlier in the season. Zach Eflin is scheduled to throw for Philadelphia.