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Dietrich rises to stage with go-ahead homer

MIAMI -- It was a moment that Derek Dietrich, who grinded away in the Minors to begin the season, had been thinking about for a while.

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When Dietrich hit the decisive homer in the seventh inning of Miami's 2-1 win over the Yankees at Marlins Park on Monday, the 25-year-old -- who was just recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday -- understandably got caught up in his accomplishment.

"I was telling the guys that I'm going to be really tired later tonight," Dietrich said. "I was jazzed up after that -- my emotions were really high. I'm sure they're going to come down and I'm going to be out on the pillow soon, but that was a great feeling. To put your team ahead against a team like that, just so soon, it feels awesome."

Video: [email protected]: Dietrich picks good time for first home run

While Dietrich had 14 career homers coming into the night, his big-time blast off of Masahiro Tanaka was extra special. With the game tied 1-1 in the seventh and leading off, he launched a 2-0 pitch deep to right field and into the seats. It was the second run he scored on the day and it held up as the game-winner.

"Tanaka, what a great pitcher," Dietrich said. "And it's against the Yankees -- I watched Derek Jeter growing up and it was always a team on my mind. Regardless who it was off, just to help get us a win is always special.

"It was a 2-0 fastball," he added. "He was throwing a lot of stuff down in the zone and the M.O. of our team is to try to get him up. ... I was able to do that."

It was Dietrich's second timely hit of the night. The left-handed hitter, batting seventh, also doubled in the second inning and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria's RBI single to tie the game at 1.

"What a big outing for him," manager Dan Jennings said. "He has a hustle double and legs it out and scores on the base hit to tie the game. And then late -- the one thing we always talk about with Derek is his power -- and he got the pitch … and provided what we needed. Big night."

It was a night that seemed unlikely for Dietrich less than a week ago. He was in New Orleans until Friday -- the place he'd been since getting sent down to the Minors early last season when he struggled as the Marlins' 2014 Opening Day second baseman. He hit just .228 with five home runs in that time, which followed a .214, nine-homer rookie season.

But when regular third baseman Martin Prado went down with a right shoulder sprain on Sunday, Dietrich's opportunity presented itself -- and he seized the moment.

"I'm just grateful for the opportunity," said Dietrich, who's now 2-for-5 on the season. "I went down [to the Minors] and grinded and played my butt off like I always do and just waited for my opportunity. I'm happy to have it and happy to be here to help the team win."

Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for
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