ST. PETERSBURG -- There were no speed bumps for the Marlins' offense the past two days with Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich out.Miami combined for a whopping 13 runs and 28 hits in beating the Rays on Wednesday and Thursday at Tropicana Field minus the pair of skilled outfielders. The
ST. PETERSBURG -- There were no speed bumps for the Marlins' offense the past two days with Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich out.
Miami combined for a whopping 13 runs and 28 hits in beating the Rays on Wednesday and Thursday at Tropicana Field minus the pair of skilled outfielders. The 9-1 result on Thursday was particularly impressive, given the makeshift lineup with Adeiny Hechavarria leading off, Marcell Ozuna in the No. 3 spot and J.T. Realmuto batting cleanup as the designated hitter.
"We've talked all year that we've got to find a way, every day, no matter what," manager Don Mattingly said. "No matter what lineup we throw out there, no matter who's pitching, no matter who we are facing, we have to try and find a way to put wins on the board every day, and we are capable of doing that. We look at our lineup and see a bunch of guys who can hit -- from Yeli and Big G, but also Justin Bour and Marcell [Ozuna] and Hechy can hit, J.T. [Realmuto] can hit, [Martin] Prado can hit. We have a lot of guys who can give you good at-bats."
The Marlins benefited from multiple good at-bats on Thursday. Chris Johnson led Miami with three RBIs, and Hechavarria and Cole Gillespie followed with two. Derek Dietrich and Miguel Rojas also produced runs.
The day included a few power displays. Hechavarria launched a two-run homer to left in the second inning off left-hander Drew Smyly, and Johnson added a two-run shot to left against Smyly in the third.
"It was a good day offensively," Gillespie said. "It really felt like they were swinging the bats well and having good at-bats, and we were able to get guys on base today and come through with the hits in situations where we needed them."
The Marlins' nine runs in the series finale were one short of their season-high total earned against the Mets on April 11. Their 15 hits were the most since they had 16 against the Brewers on May 1. All of it was done with Stanton missing his second consecutive game because of right side soreness and Yelich absent for the sixth straight contest with back spasms.
Still, Miami rolled on.
"Any time you can get the bats alive, especially in a series like that, hopefully you can take that momentum to the next series," Gillespie said. "I think everybody today swung the bat well."
Andrew Astleford is a contributor for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.