Berti seizes second chance in comeback win

After making an error, utility man knocks in two as Marlins rally to beat Phils

May 27th, 2021

MIAMI -- Wednesday night was an opportunity at second chances for and the shorthanded Marlins. Presented with the chance to rally late, Berti knocked the go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning in Miami's 4-2 comeback win over Philadelphia at loanDepot park.

The Marlins (24-25) improved to 3-17 when trailing after seven frames and moved ahead of the Phillies (24-26) in the National League East standings with a makeshift lineup. Garrett Cooper was a late scratch with right oblique tightness, rookie started at shortstop for just the second time, filled in for Jazz Chisholm Jr. at second base and Berti continued to replace Brian Anderson at the hot corner.

"Bert's really been actually swinging good," manager Don Mattingly said. "Look at his at-bats, [they] have gotten better and better and better just going along, and you felt like there was some breakthrough coming with him.

"José’s seemed like once he finally got that hit in D.C., his at-bats have been really pretty good. He slowed down a little bit. He's got good hands, he puts the ball in play, so that was nice. Isan getting on base and basically getting robbed tonight [on a homer]. Those guys were a big force tonight.”

In the decisive eighth, Corey Dickerson led off with an infield single, but he was wiped out on a fielder's choice. Jorge Alfaro's groundout to first allowed Adam Duvall to reach second. Díaz walked, and both runners advanced on a passed ball with two outs. Berti then sent Sam Coonrod’s eighth pitch of the at-bat -- a 98 mph sinker -- to right field. After driving in a pair, Berti stole his fourth base of the season and scored on Devers’ RBI single.

The night before with the Marlins threatening to score with two runners on in a 2-0 ballgame in the seventh, Berti grounded out to end the inning on a 98.2 mph sinker from Coonrod.

"That at-bat I was just trying to get something out over the plate that I can handle," said Berti, who has a .614 OPS this season. "Faced him last night and he threw me a really good 2-0 sinker that rode in on me a little bit, so kind of had that in the memory bank a little bit. Just continued to fight until he was able to miss out over the plate. Again, something I can handle, and then just being aggressive, trusting [first-base coach Keith Johnson] over there at first base, letting me know kind of the report we have on him and different times. Just being aggressive there, and then obviously José with the big hit there to score me to give us an extra run of cushion."

It was a form of redemption for the super-utility player, who committed a costly error at third base that eventually led to the then-go-ahead run for the Phillies in the fifth. A slow roller that went under his glove had a 68.2 mph exit velocity, with a hit probability of 5 percent. Brad Miller added a single to put runners on the corners for Rhys Hoskins, who produced the go-ahead sacrifice fly to right off reliever Anthony Bender.

Berti said he had moved past the play and was focused on the previous matchup with Coonrod. During Anderson’s two stints on the injured list, he has started all 13 games in his absence. Anderson was a National League Gold Glove Award finalist in 2020. Berti turned a nifty 5-6-3 double play with the shift in the fourth, but he has committed four errors at the position this season.

The contributions of Berti and Devers, Miami’s No. 8 prospect who reached three times, are much-needed. The injuries have piled up again for the Marlins. Pitcher Trevor Rogers pinch-hit to lead off the fifth with Chisholm and Cooper unavailable. As a result, Mattingly needed to maximize his two available bench bats in Miguel Rojas and Sandy León, who was in the on-deck circle in the fourth.

"I don't feel afraid,” the 21-year-old Devers said via an interpreter. “I always go and play the game hard. I like to learn a lot from them, they're older than me, so they have a lot of time in the game. Just enjoy that time just spending time with the guys and learning from them.”