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Defense keeps Marlins in it, but Sox rally in 13

April 3, 2018

MIAMI -- Lewis Brinson made a home run-robbing catch. Chad Wallach executed a spin-move tag at the plate, and Jose Urena rose up to the challenge and pitched like a No. 1 starter.The Marlins on Tuesday night made their share of highlight-worthy plays, but they weren't able to pull out

MIAMI -- Lewis Brinson made a home run-robbing catch. Chad Wallach executed a spin-move tag at the plate, and Jose Urena rose up to the challenge and pitched like a No. 1 starter.
The Marlins on Tuesday night made their share of highlight-worthy plays, but they weren't able to pull out yet another game that went into extra innings. Hanley Ramirez delivered the decisive hit, a two-run double in the 13th inning that lifted the Red Sox to a 4-2 win over Miami at Marlins Park, winning both games in the series.

For the third time in a six-game homestand that finished 2-4, the Marlins had to play more than nine innings. This time, it took four hours, 27 minutes for the Red Sox to prevail.
The youthful Marlins had a tough draw for their first homestand, getting the Cubs for four games and the Red Sox for two. They split the four with Chicago, including each club taking one game that went to extra innings.
"I've said it before, and I'll say it again, we are not going to quit, no matter what team is out there," Brinson said. "We know we're good. We know we can stick with any team out there. [The Cubs and Red Sox] are two of the best teams in the league, not just the American and National League, in all of baseball. We stuck right with them. Obviously, we didn't come out with these two [wins]."
In the 11th inning, Brinson made one of the great plays of the night, taking a potential home run away from Mookie Betts. But Andrew Benintendi came through with an RBI single that scored Eduardo Nunez and lifted the Red Sox to a 2-1 lead off Odrisamer Despaigne.
"Me and Mookie go back to low A," Brinson said. "He used to play second base. We're still boys, I hope. But I've got to keep us in the game. That felt good."

After falling behind by a run in the 11th, Cameron Maybin's two-out, RBI double extended the game. On the play Miami had a chance for a walk-off win, but Justin Bour, who was on first, was thrown out at the plate, forcing a 12th inning.

"That's what I like about this team," Maybin said. "From Day 1, we fight. We come out and compete."
Another standout play came in the eighth inning, when Wallach made a spinning turn and tag to get Jackie Bradley Jr. out at the plate on Nunez's grounder to Starlin Castro at second. To close out the inning, Wallach then threw Nunez out trying to steal second.

The Marlins also received a strong seven innings from Urena -- who settled in after allowing a run -- to throw seven innings while matching his career high for strikeouts. Urena, whose fastball reached 97.8 mph -- ended up throwing 109 pitches and mixed in 41 sliders.
"That helped a lot," Urena said. " If you move their feet inside, you can go back to the slider to be more effective."
Maybin's near walk-off: Maybin's two-out, RBI double in the 11th inning nearly resulted in a walk-off win for Miami. Brian Anderson scored from second, but Bour was thrown out at the plate. With two outs, third-base coach Fredi Gonzalez sent Bour, but the Red Sox executed the relay from Benintendi to Xander Bogaerts, who made a perfect throw to the plate and Bour was out easily.
"That's a great send by Fredi," Mattingly said. "I thought Benintendi kind of dropped that ball. He kind of double shuffles there, and we know it's one of those. Bogaerts makes a perfect throw. If that ball is anywhere but perfect, I think we end up getting that run and winning it right there."
Hanging slider:Tayron Guerrero, whose fastball touched 100 mph in the 13th inning, threw a slider to Ramirez that he ripped for the decisive two-run double. The Marlins intentionally walked Benintendi to get to Ramirez.
"I didn't really want to do it," Mattingly said of walking Benintendi. "I know how dangerous Hanley is. But Benintendi has got a quick bat, and a good philosophy. Once [Guerrero] gets behind, I didn't want him laying something in there. I wanted to give him a fresh start with Hanley. I didn't expect the slider. I thought he could beat him with velocity, to be honest with you."
"That's just baseball. You never know what you're going to get, from day to day. But, I can't be more proud of how we're battling, how we're playing, and the effort that we have." -- Bour on the energy the club has played with during the first six games.
The Marlins had not stolen a base in their first five games, and it was nearly six. Maybin attempted to steal second with two outs in the seventh inning, and at first he was called out. But Miami challenged and the call was overturned, crediting Maybin with a steal.

With Bradley on third with one out in the eighth and the game tied at 1, Nunez hit a grounder to second base. The Marlins had the infield in, and the Red Sox had a contact play on and Bradley tried to score. But Wallach made a tremendous play, taking the throw from Castro, which was on the first-base side of the plate, and spinning around to tag out Bradley. The Red Sox issued a challenge, but the call was confirmed.

Garrett Cooper's bruised right wrist continues to be sore, and the Marlins may have to make a roster move if their Opening Day right fielder isn't ready to go by Thursday at Philadelphia. Cooper was hit by a pitch in the second game of the season. He did return and started on Sunday against the Cubs, but was replaced after two at-bats.
Off on Wednesday, the Marlins open their first road trip on Thursday at 3:05 p.m. ET at Philadelphia. Caleb Smith, who struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings in his first start, will open Miami's first road series. The Phillies are scheduled to go with right-hander Nick Pivetta.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.