MIAMI -- A.J. Ramos had a strong support group when he took the mound on Sunday afternoon in the Marlins' 3-1 win over the Braves at Marlins Park.Along with his teammates and the home crowd, Ramos had his parents -- Alex and Cynthia -- and other family members sitting behind
MIAMI -- A.J. Ramos had a strong support group when he took the mound on Sunday afternoon in the Marlins' 3-1 win over the Braves at Marlins Park.
Along with his teammates and the home crowd, Ramos had his parents -- Alex and Cynthia -- and other family members sitting behind home plate. After securing the save, Miami's closer handed the game ball to his mom, providing the perfect Mother's Day gift.
"I was excited she was here," Ramos said. "I knew she wanted a save for Mother's Day. I didn't have any control of it until it was presented, so it was kind of cool that they were here and I got to give her the ball after the game. It was a special moment."
The Ramos family made the trip from Texas to Miami to see A.J. lock down his first save since April 22 and the Marlins celebrate their first win in a week. They had lost five straight since beating the Mets at Citi Field last Sunday.
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Postgame, the Marlins cranked up the music in their clubhouse, playing party hits like the "Cupid Shuffle." Their party fog machine was also at full blast.
"I was happy all the equipment still works," Ramos said. "All the fog lights and everything, music and everything still works. I think we're going to be using it a lot more now."
The win was more in line with how the Marlins constructed their roster. Justin Nicolino, promoted from Triple-A New Orleans to pitch in place of injured Wei-Yin Chen (left arm fatigue), allowed one run over six innings. From there, the bullpen took over, with Kyle Barraclough and David Phelps posting scoreless innings, setting up Ramos for the save.
Ramos hadn't even had a save opportunity since his last chance on April 22 at San Diego.
The right-hander walked Ender Inciarte to open the inning, but he retired Adonis Garcia on a fly ball to deep center, Freddie Freeman on a strikeout and Matt Kemp on a flyout to right.
Throughout the inning, Ramos' mother hung on every pitch, and it was captured on television.
"I don't like to watch her because then I get nervous if I watch her because I feel like she gets nervous," Ramos said. "But I try to stay focused. I knew that after the game, if I threw well, that I was going to give her the ball. It was a good moment."
As for Cynthia getting some airtime, Ramos said: "She deserves it. She put in a lot of work to get me here. I wasn't the easiest kid to raise, so I'm glad she was getting the airtime and deserves it. She's a big reason why I'm here. I was a little mischievous sometimes. That's part of being a kid. She kept me in line through a lot. It's good to see her in the stands."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.