MIAMI -- If Brian Anderson had any Opening Day butterflies, they disappeared by the time he came to the plate. The rookie third baseman had two RBI singles off Jonathan Lester, scored a run and drew a walk on Thursday in the Marlins' 8-4 loss to the Cubs at Marlins
MIAMI -- If Brian Anderson had any Opening Day butterflies, they disappeared by the time he came to the plate. The rookie third baseman had two RBI singles off Jonathan Lester, scored a run and drew a walk on Thursday in the Marlins' 8-4 loss to the Cubs at Marlins Park.
One of four rookies in Miami's starting lineup and one of 12 on the team participating in his first Opening Day, Anderson showed why the organization believes he will be a middle-of-the-order run producer.
"I think he benefited last year from being a callup," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Being in camp a couple of years now, he's a lot more comfortable probably with the staff and the guys, and just being a big leaguer."
Anderson, rated Miami's No. 9 prospect by MLB Pipeline, was a September callup and appeared in 25 games in 2017.
With Martin Prado on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain, Anderson is getting an opportunity to establish himself at third.
Admittedly, all the festivities of Opening Day created some early nerves.
"Yeah, definitely. This is my first one," Anderson said. "I haven't been around to really see a couple of them. That can be a factor, but at the same time, the other team is dealing with the same thing. It's our job to relax, settle down and battle back. I think we did that. We showed we have fight in us and fought until the last pitch."
The Cubs scored three times in the first inning, with Ian Happ homering on Jose Urena's first pitch of the game.
But in the bottom of the inning, with two outs against Lester, Anderson's RBI single scored Starlin Castro.
In the third inning, the Marlins pulled even at 4. Anderson's single to left made it a one-run game, and he was able to advance to third on Kyle Schwarber's two-base error in left. Anderson scored on Garrett Cooper's RBI single.
"We got down early and were able to fight back," Anderson said. "Being able to fight back, definitely there was some positivity was coming in. Guys weren't quitting, even when we were down 4-1. That was the sense, we kept fighting, we kept battling and we're going to bring it tomorrow."
In the later innings, the Cubs pulled away.
"We have a lot of young guys," Anderson said. "Just consistency on a daily basis, make sure we're grinding at-bats, make sure we're throwing strikes, and fielding the ball. That's where it all starts. Our biggest thing is being consistent as a young team."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.