After accepting awards, Dee plays with 'heart, pride'

April 6th, 2016

MIAMI -- What the Marlins may lack in payroll or number of high-profile names, they hope to make up for with determination. Dee Gordon paved the way on Tuesday night in an 8-7, 11-inning Opening Day loss to the Tigers at Marlins Park.

The defending National League batting champion, Gordon provided plenty of spark for a rallying Marlins club, going 3-for-6 with two doubles, a triple and two runs scored. It was the first three extra-base-hit game of his career.

"We've got to play hard," Gordon said. "We're not the greatest team. We don't have the best payroll. So we've got to beat people with heart and pride. That's how we have to beat people."

During the Opening Day ceremonies, Gordon was presented with plenty of hardware he earned in 2015. He was honored for winning the NL batting title, the NL Silver Slugger Award, the NL Rawlings Gold Glove Award and the Wilson Award as top defensive second baseman.

"He's swinging the bat really well," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's fun to watch. Obviously, all the things that went on before the game, you kind of put that on the highlight reel too. The things he's capable of doing, as far as everything on the field, really. Dee is an exciting player."

For the Marlins to lose a shootout was startling, considering they trailed 5-0 and were being no-hit by Justin Verlander for 5 1/3 innings. Gordon collected the first hit, a double to right in the sixth.

The Tigers had nine hits before the Marlins had one. When the game ended, Detroit had 12 hits to Miami's 10.

After Miami fell behind 7-4 in the ninth, Derek Dietrich had a two-out RBI single before Gordon's run-scoring double off Francisco Rodriguez forced extra innings.

"It just shows you how resilient we are," Gordon said. "We had no hits for [five] innings, and the last five innings, we had 10. We just need to get the monkey off our back."