Yelich's blast wakes up Marlins, avoids history
Outfielder breaks up no-hitter with homer leading off seventh, halves deficit
NEW YORK -- Held hitless by Yankees starter Michael Pineda for six innings on Wednesday night, the Marlins were looking for any sign of life. Christian Yelich provided a big boost on the first pitch of the seventh inning.
Yelich got into a 91-mph four-seam fastball and deposited it over the wall in center for a home run. On one swing, the Marlins avoided being no-hit and got back into the game, only to fall, 2-1, at Yankee Stadium.
"Nobody wants to get no-hit," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. "They're up there battling. Yeli got a good swing on it, and got a pitch he could drive. And he did that."
The home run came on Pineda's 95th pitch, and it closed Miami's margin to one run. Statcast™ projected the drive to land 405 feet away from home plate, with an exit velocity of 106 mph.
"I was just trying to get something middle off him," Yelich said. "I was able to put a good swing on the ball, and it ended up getting out. But he was pounding us with that cutter, slider and that changeup all night. He was mixing it up, keeping us off balance. He did a good job."
The homer was Yelich's fourth of the season, and first since he was moved to the No. 3 spot, with Giancarlo Stanton sliding down to fourth.
In his first two big league seasons, Yelich has been more of a tablesetter. As his career progresses, Miami envisions the 23-year-old becoming more of a long ball threat.
"It's good to see the power starting to show," Jennings said. "He's driving balls in the gap very well. We need him to be that type hitter in that three spot, and he's definitely showing signs of it. That's great for him."
Miami was limited to just three hits on the night.
In team history, the Marlins have been no-hit three times, most recently by Washington's Jordan Zimmermann on the final day of the 2014 season.
On May 17, Atlanta's Shelby Miller was one out away from no-hitting Miami at Marlins Park before Justin Bour singled.
Pineda was flirting with history on Wednesday.
"He's got pretty good stuff," Yelich said. "That was the first time most of us had seen him, I think. He had good stuff tonight, was mixing his pitches up. All of his pitches were moving. He was making it tough on us."