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Marlins lean on pitching in win over Astros

MLB.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Derek Dietrich belted a two-run homer and starting pitcher Scott Copeland threw three perfect innings in the Marlins' 4-2 win over the Astros Saturday afternoon at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Dietrich's third-inning home run, his first of the Grapefruit League season, bounced off the foul pole in right field and extended the Marlins' lead to 3-0.

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Derek Dietrich belted a two-run homer and starting pitcher Scott Copeland threw three perfect innings in the Marlins' 4-2 win over the Astros Saturday afternoon at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Dietrich's third-inning home run, his first of the Grapefruit League season, bounced off the foul pole in right field and extended the Marlins' lead to 3-0.

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Copeland, meanwhile, struck out two and got four groundouts in rebounding from a pair of relief appearances, in which he gave up five earned runs over three innings of work. He threw 37 pitches, 22 of those for strikes.

"I think having a baby was good for him," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Copeland. "He is a father now. We're trying to get him back on a schedule. He kind of fits into that starter/bridge-guy mode for us. He has big league experience. He can sink the ball. That's what we saw today, keeping the ball down."

The Astros were held hitless until a sixth-inning triple by shortstop Reid Brignac off Marlins reliever Kelvin Marte highlighted a two-run rally. It was one of just two hits for the Astros off five Marlins pitchers.

Astros starter Francis Martes, the club's No. 1 prospect as ranked by MLBPipeline.com, did not make it out of the first inning. The right-hander walked two and gave up a run on one hit before exiting after 30 pitches (17 for strikes).

Martes started in place of right-hander Mike Fiers, who was scratched due to right hamstring discomfort. A non-roster invitee, Martes worked 3 2/3 innings in two previous relief appearances allowing two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out one.

Video: MIA@HOU: Hinch discusses Martes' outing vs. Marlins

"It was a good experience for him to have to battle some tough at-bats," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We rescued him a little bit. He got up to 30 pitches; it's Spring Training, we're not going to risk anything in early March."

Marlins Up Next: The Marlins will be the home team at Roger Dean Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. ET (MLB.TV) against the Cardinals. Right-hander Tom Koehler goes for Miami, with St. Louis starting Adam Wainwright. Dee Gordon, Ichiro Suzuki, Marcell Ozuna, Justin Bour and Adeiny Hechavarria are among the regular position players scheduled to start.

Astros Up Next: The Astros stay at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches for a 1:05 p.m. ET start (MLB.TV) as visitors to the Washington Nationals on Sunday. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel is scheduled to make his first start of the Grapefruit League season. It's his first outing since being shut down late last August with inflammation in his rotator cuff.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Astros on Saturday.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.