Stanton, Marlins pull off two-out rally, beat Rockies
Miami scores four runs in the eighth, takes series from Colorado
MIAMI -- A noticeable difference from last year to this year is when the Marlins are down, they no longer feel like they are out.
On Thursday afternoon, the Marlins closed out what they weren't able to do the night before. Giancarlo Stanton delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, and Casey McGehee followed with a two-run hit and Miami rallied past the Rockies, 8-5, at Marlins Park.
The dramatic win came the day after the Marlins came up just short, 6-5, on Wednesday night after falling behind by four runs.
"It's one of those things where the more chances you give yourself, eventually you're going to come up with the hits," McGehee said. "It's not going to always work out. I think last night said as much about this team as anything. We had every opportunity to quit, and just kind of phone that one in the rest of the way."
By completing their first comeback win of the new year, the Marlins took three of four in the series. A year ago, when they lost 100 games, they didn't win their first series until April 29-May 1 against the Mets.
For most of the afternoon, the Marlins repeatedly found themselves coming up 90 feet short of tying the game. In the eighth inning, their fortunes changed, and they were able to cash in with three two-out hits.
Christian Yelich's two-out RBI single off Matt Belisle snapped Miami's 1-for-15 rut with runners in scoring position. Yelich's flare hit, which landed just out of shortstop Troy Tulowizki's reach in short left field, pulled the Marlins even at 5.
"That ball could be an out but it wasn't an out," Belisle said. "It was a pretty good executed pitch. But after that is where my execution lagged a little bit."
The Marlins pounced.
Stanton slapped the go-ahead RBI single to center and McGehee tacked on a two-run single to center, giving the Marlins some breathing room.
"When we got some runners on base and in scoring position, we needed one more good at-bat to finish it off," Stanton said. "We got two."
Stanton is off to a terrific start, batting .375 (6-for-16) with a homer, two doubles and seven RBIs.
The culture in the clubhouse is entirely different from last year when the Marlins scored one run in three games and were swept at the Nationals in their opening series.
In the four games against Colorado, they scored 27 runs.
"We can do it," Stanton said. "This is only one [series]. But you take from what we did. We came back twice. We scored all those runs in the first game. If you think you're going to win those games every time, good things will happen."
As productive as Stanton has been, McGehee has done more. McGehee went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, giving him eight in the series. And he's batting .462 (6-for-13) with three doubles and a triple.
"The offense had scrappy at-bats late and had some opportunities early with runners in scoring position," manager Mike Redmond said. "At the end of the day, we had some big at-bats when we needed them and guys came through. All in all, a team effort that has us fired up. We got some big hits from multiple guys, nice way to win the series."
It actually took a while before the big hit came. The three straight two-out RBI hits by Yelich, Stanton and McGehee helped the Marlins finish the game 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
They also left nine on base.
Steve Cishek polished off the ninth for his second save of the season, and 31st consecutive converted chance dating back to last year.
The game started off roughly for Miami starter Jacob Turner, who gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings. Michael Cuddyer belted a two-run homer off Turner in a three-run third inning that gave Colorado a 4-1 lead.
"The team aspect is what we've been preaching, and I think you saw that today," Turner said. "This is 25 guys playing together, and that's really what you want to see."
McGehee's aggressive baserunning helped the team score a run in the third inning, closing Miami's gap to 4-2.
With two outs, Marcell Ozuna chopped a grounder up the middle. Second baseman Charlie Culberson made a backhanded stop and his throw from the ground drew Cuddyer's foot off the bag at first. Ozuna was ruled safe by Jerry Layne.
By the time Cuddyer turned around, McGehee was scoring from second.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss challenged the call at first, contending Cuddyer's foot was on the bag. But after the review, the umpires ruled that the play stands because the replay was inconclusive.
"It seems like those guys are feeding off each other right now, and that's good," Redmond said. "When we get all those guys going together, it's going to be a lot of fun out there."