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Despaigne steps up big after 17-inning marathon

A night after getting win, righty pitches five innings to help Marlins
MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- If necessary, Odrisamer Despaigne is ready to go on Sunday. After appearing in two straight games in two different roles, you don't doubt him.

On Saturday, Despaigne started, worked five innings and wasn't involved in the decision of the Marlins' 10-6 loss to the Cubs in 10 innings at Marlins Park. The night before, he pitched the 17th inning and was credited with the win in a 2-1 victory over the Cubs. 

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MIAMI -- If necessary, Odrisamer Despaigne is ready to go on Sunday. After appearing in two straight games in two different roles, you don't doubt him.

On Saturday, Despaigne started, worked five innings and wasn't involved in the decision of the Marlins' 10-6 loss to the Cubs in 10 innings at Marlins Park. The night before, he pitched the 17th inning and was credited with the win in a 2-1 victory over the Cubs. 

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"People probably look at it differently, but I think we know Odrisamer well enough, and he knows himself," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "This was not a stretch for him. It was not something that he was in any harm's way of doing anything differently than he does all the time."

Despaigne gained the praises of the organization with his ability to adapt to different roles. He's been a starter, a long and short reliever and he even picked up a save last year.

"I felt good," Despaigne said. "I went out there trying to help the team. I told Mattingly yesterday I was good to go. I could have kept going in the game, but we were trying to get some runs, so they put a pinch-hitter in for me. I felt strong and could have kept going."

Although he surrendered a two-run homer to Kyle Schwarber in the second inning, Despaigne kept the score at 2-2 before Anthony Rizzo's two-out, two-run single in the fifth inning. On the play, a third run scored on Cameron Maybin's error. The right-hander struck out six, and was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning with his club trailing, 5-2. He was charged with five runs (four earned) and logged 82 pitches.

Video: Must C Clutch: Marlins outlast Cubs in 17 innings

Erasmo Ramirez of the Rays was the last pitcher to close out a game in relief and start the next day -- doing so May 28-29 last season.

In his career, Despaigne has pitched so much out of the bullpen that he is used to pitching on consecutive days.

"There was a lot of discussion, but he made it really easy," Mattingly said. "He's a not huge routine guy. He's not a guy who is throwing 40 pitches before a game. He's basically been a reliever/spot-starter, that type of guy."

Still, the Marlins weighed all their options, like who would be available in relief on Saturday, as well as which Minor League pitchers might be available.

In their system, there are three 40-man candidates who could have been alternatives -- left-hander Adam Conley, and right-handers Sandy Alcantara and Merandy Gonzalez. But Conley and Gonzalez each threw in Minor League games on Friday, and Alcantara, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins' No. 3 prospect, pitched Saturday for Triple-A New Orleans.

The Marlins have consistently said they do not intend to promote the 22-year-old Alcantara until he is fully ready, and that involves more than just pitching. He's also working on fielding and holding runners.

With the Marlins having played successive extra-inning games, Despaigne is open to pitching again in the series finale.

"I'll go out there tomorrow and pitch, if needed," he said.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Odrisamer Despaigne