MIAMI -- J.T. Realmuto launched a three-run homer on a four-hit afternoon as the Marlins erased an early deficit and beat the Rockies, 9-6, on Saturday at Marlins Park.Realmuto finished a triple shy of the first cycle in Marlins history. His homer, which gave the Marlins the lead in the
MIAMI -- J.T. Realmuto launched a three-run homer on a four-hit afternoon as the Marlins erased an early deficit and beat the Rockies, 9-6, on Saturday at Marlins Park.
Realmuto finished a triple shy of the first cycle in Marlins history. His homer, which gave the Marlins the lead in the fifth, came off reliever Eddie Butler, who was pitching for the first time in 11 days. Butler was forced into action after Tyler Chatwood, who entered with a Major League-leading 0.65 road ERA, departed in the second with a mid-back spasm. Justin Bour also homered off Butler, for two runs in the third.
Weiss said Chatwood's injury "just cropped up on him. We watched him for a couple, three hitters, and he didn't look right. The body language was a little off."
Butler, pitching for the first time since a road start against the Dodgers on June 7, surrendered six runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings. He struck out two with no walks, but the mistakes in the zone to Bour and Realmuto were his undoing. Butler, who had a 1.80 relief ERA in two appearances before Saturday, was galled by the Realmuto homer.
"It was a slider that didn't get there," said Butler, who noted that he missed twice with sliders on that fateful Realmuto at-bat. "It stinks. That's baseball."
Nick Hundley produced a bases-clearing double as the Rockies scored six runs in the third -- all charged to Wei-Yin Chen, who departed after 2 1/3 innings in his shortest career start. However, Marlins reliever Dustin McGowan held the Rockies hitless for 2 2/3 innings to touch off a solid bullpen effort.
• McGowan picks up the win
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said the long wait before Chen's third inning, which included Chatwood's injury and the pitching change, could have affected Chen. Mattingly even asked the umpire to let him have extra warm-up pitches.
"He had to sit awhile," Mattingly said. "I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but I'm sure he doesn't want me to make excuses for him or anything. Obviously, not a whole lot of swing-and-miss today. They put the ball in play on him. He wasn't really able to make them miss at all."
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Bour keeps it close: Just a half inning after the Rockies plated six runs to take a 6-3 lead, Bour brought the Marlins within one. Giancarlo Stanton led off the third with a sharp single to left before Bour deposited a 2-1 Butler offering into the right-field seats. The long ball was Bour's 11th of the season, one shy of Stanton's and Marcell Ozuna's team-leading 12.
"I think it's important any time you get down to try to come back there as soon as you can and put some runs up on the board," Bour said. "It was good I was able to do that for us."
Ouch: It was clear from the start something was wrong with Chatwood. He entered with 2.8 walks per nine innings. On one of his two strikeouts, to Realmuto to open the third, the ball bounced away from catcher Hundley and allowed the batter to reach. Finally, Chatwood had trouble straightening after throwing ball four to Martin Prado on a pitch that sailed well past the reach of Hundley. A brief meeting involving head athletic trainer Keith Dugger ensued. Chatwood ambled gingerly to the clubhouse for observation. He still left with a 1.25 road ERA, which remains the Majors' best. More >
Sculpture hunting: Realmuto regained the lead in the fifth inning. Bour and Stanton set the stage with singles through the left side before Realmuto launched a Butler 1-1 slider off the home run sculpture beyond the center-field wall, putting the Marlins ahead, 8-6. The homer was Realmuto's fourth of the season and second of the month.
"I was really just looking for something to drive the other way and try to move them to second and third," Realmuto said. "Luckily, I got a pitch over the middle of the plate and was able to put a good swing on it. I was actually looking to stay up the middle and ended up pulling it a little."
As they discussed: Earlier this week, Rockies manager Walt Weiss called a meeting to remind players to use their heads with situational hitting, particularly with two strikes. In the Rockies' six-run third, three of their five hits -- including Hundley's three-run double -- came with two strikes, as did the hit batsman drawn by Trevor Story and the bases-loaded walk wheedled by Mark Reynolds.
"There were really good at-bats in front of me," Hundley said. "I got up in a really good situation. Mark walked after going down 0-2. We grinded out at-bats. We did a really good job getting [Chen] out of there in the third, but obviously their bullpen shut us down."
"If you would've seen us in batting practice today, you would've thought we had no chance. We all came in laughing about it, how we were gonna get no-hit today because nobody looked good. But then we go out there and put up 17 hits. It's just a funny game." -- Realmuto, on the offensive explosion
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Stanton finished 3-for-5, marking the slugger's second three-hit game this season and first since April 24. Now 5-for-8 in the series, Stanton collected back-to-back multi-hit games for the first time since May 4-5.
Rockies: Lefty Tyler Anderson, who held the Padres to one run in 6 1/3 innings Sunday in a no-decision in his Major League debut, will aspire to a successful follow-up against the Marlins at 11:10 a.m. MT on Sunday in the third of four at Marlins Park.
Marlins: Right-hander Tom Koehler seeks his third straight win in the third of four games against the Rockies at 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday. Koehler has turned the corner in June with his command, walking just one in each of his last three starts.
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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami.