MIAMI -- When Arizona's Rey Fuentes roped a ball to the right side in the fourth inning Saturday at Marlins Park, it looked as if the D-backs had their first hit against Edinson Volquez.Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon had other plans. Gordon dove to his left, stretched out and snagged
MIAMI -- When Arizona's Rey Fuentes roped a ball to the right side in the fourth inning Saturday at Marlins Park, it looked as if the D-backs had their first hit against Edinson Volquez.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon had other plans. Gordon dove to his left, stretched out and snagged the liner before popping up to throw out the speedy Fuentes to help preserve Volquez's no-hitter -- Miami's sixth and first since 2013 -- and a 3-0 win over Arizona at Marlins Park.
:: Edinson Volquez's no-hitter ::
"He saved the no-hitter right there," Volquez said. "Nobody else hit the ball really hard today."
Fuentes' one-hopper was hit at 103 mph per Statcast™, and it was the closest the D-backs came to scratching across anything against a lights-out Volquez. Marlins manager Don Mattingly acknowledged Gordon's history-saving play as well.
"It's like anything, you never know when," Mattingly said. "You look back at the game and go, 'Oh, that play right there.' You would've thought about it in the seventh more or the eighth when it's starting to build. But in the fourth, you're still going through the game."
On the very next play, Volquez was challenged himself.
David Peralta bounced a 108-mph chopper, the hardest-hit ball off Volquez all game, right back at him on the mound. Despite pitching through a sore ankle he sustained on the first play of the game, Volquez nabbed it with ease and tossed it to first.
"I'm a Gold Glove winner," he joked after the game.
The self-proclaimed award-winning fielder nearly gave up a leadoff infield single to Fuentes, who bounced a ball down the first-base line to Justin Bour. The first baseman flipped to a hustling Volquez covering the bag, and the pitcher and Fuentes then collided past the base, with Volquez landing awkwardly on his right ankle -- the one he uses to push off the pitching rubber.
"I told one of the trainers, 'I can't pitch anymore. It hurts.'" Volquez said. "I started feeling better after the fourth, and I told him, 'You've got to let me pitch now.' ... But it's hard to pitch with a bad ankle on the rubber."
Volquez's ground ball theme continued throughout his dominant performance. The 33-year-old induced 11 grounders, two of which went for double plays, a product of what he and catcher J.T. Realmuto said was command of all of his pitches.
Volquez's 45.3 ground ball percentage is tops among his teammates with at least 40 innings pitched. Miami's fielders behind him made every play, showing why they rank among the top five National League clubs in fielding percentage.
"That was huge," Realmuto said. "We had a ton of ground balls. Obviously [Volquez] gets a lot of ground balls. There were a lot of ground balls that were kind of in-between plays and in-between hops on a couple double plays. Just a lot of huge plays by our infielders today."
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.