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New-look Marlins offense sputters vs. Mets

August 10, 2018

MIAMI -- After trading Justin Bour to the Phillies earlier in the day, the Marlins have made it clear they are ready to create opportunities for players in their system. But with inexperience comes growing pains, and Friday night was another example.With a revamped lineup, the Marlins managed just four

MIAMI -- After trading Justin Bour to the Phillies earlier in the day, the Marlins have made it clear they are ready to create opportunities for players in their system. But with inexperience comes growing pains, and Friday night was another example.
With a revamped lineup, the Marlins managed just four hits off Zack Wheeler. And, despite a two-run home run by Miguel Rojas in the seventh inning, Miami fell, 6-2, to the Mets at Marlins Park.
"I don't really feel sorry or anything," Rojas said. "I feel like this team, we have to see what we're capable of doing this last couple of weeks we have left. We have to go out and play, and find a way to score some runs. It's going to be on us. It's going to be on us to produce runs and try to create a better plan to score runs, because we haven't done that in a while."
Wheeler held the Marlins without a hit until Martin Prado led off the fifth inning with a single to left. And in the seventh, Rafael Ortega, promoted earlier in the day from Triple-A New Orleans, singled and scored on Rojas' ninth home run. Ortega and Rojas previously were teammates -- from 2009-12 -- in the Venezuelan Winter League on Tiburones de La Guaira. Rojas noted he's played more baseball through the years with Ortega than he has with anyone else on the Marlins.

"I thought Ortega looked pretty good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "His at-bats, it looks like he has an idea of what he wants to do up there. I would have liked to have seen him all of Spring Training to get a better idea."
Ortega, who started in left field, played in his first big league game since 2016, when he was with the Angels.
"It's good to be back in the big leagues and have a teammate I had played with before," Ortega said of reuniting with Rojas. "When I got to the clubhouse, he gave me the confidence and showed me everything around here. That's good."

Marlins right-hander Jose Urena yielded four runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, and Miami has now lost three straight and nine of 10.
When the Marlins' players arrived at the park, they learned Bour had been dealt to the Phillies for lefty pitching prospect McKenzie Mills, who will join the Double-A Jacksonville rotation.
The deal caused some revisions to the lineup, with Derek Dietrich moving from left field to first base. Dietrich batted cleanup.
Before Prado's hit in the fifth inning, the Marlins had a scoring chance in the third when Rojas reached on Amed Rosario's error at short. After Rojas moved to second on a bunt, rookie Magneuris Sierra laced a liner that could have tied the game. But Michael Conforto, who was shading toward the line in left, made a diving catch. Per Statcast™, it was a four-star grab, which ended the inning.

Rosario had three hits and two RBIs for the Mets, and Austin Jackson added three hits, with an RBI and a run scored.
The Marlins haven't been able to manage much offense since the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. In their last 10 games, they have scored more than three runs once.
"I think we haven't been good enough," Mattingly said. "We've thrown the ball pretty good, [but] we haven't scored runs."

Even though they managed one hit through five innings, the Marlins only trailed by a run in the sixth inning before the Mets had a three-run inning. The play Mattingly and Urena said they felt opened the gates was Jackson's RBI single to center, which deflected off Urena's glove. If Urena had been able to snare the ball, Miami might have been able to turn a double play.

"For me, that was the game," Urena said. "That was a nice and easy comebacker, but my glove was a little close to my left side, and I couldn't get the ball and make an easy double play."
That hit made it 2-0, and Rosario added a two-run single off Drew Rucinski, on a liner that second baseman Starlin Castro nearly caught.

J.T. Realmuto snapped an 0-for-23 slump with a double in the sixth inning, and the All-Star catcher has now hit safely in his last six meetings against the Mets.
"If you're not getting ready to play, or you're going to let a Trade Deadline or something keep you from getting ready, something is wrong. You're not going to be the guy for me, when it gets time we're moving towards where we want to go. That is mentally tough to be a playoff-style player." -- Mattingly, on the notion that players may be down or not ready because of recent trades
Dan Straily (4-5, 4.35 ERA) makes his third start of the season against the Mets on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Straily is 0-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings vs. New York this year. For his career, he's 1-2 (3.21) in six meetings with his divisional rival. Corey Oswalt (1-2, 5.13) pitches for the Mets.

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