Marlins' explosive bats snap scoreless streak 

May 18th, 2019

MIAMI -- For a team scuffling to score runs, the remedy turned out being familiar with arguably the best pitcher in the sport.

After being dominated twice by Jacob deGrom already this season, the third time was a vastly different story for the sluggish Marlins. Garrett Cooper had a two-run single, Brian Anderson added two doubles and Jorge Alfaro blasted a two-run home run off the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner on Friday in the Marlins’ 8-6 victory over the Mets at Marlins Park.

“He is who he is,” Cooper said. “He's a Cy Young [winner]. We just got a couple of good pitches to hit.”

Miami snapped a seven-game losing streak, with right-hander Trevor Richards (1-5, 4.44) winning for the first time in nine starts, dating back to Sept. 23, 2018, against the Reds.

The Marlins turned the tables on deGrom six days after they managed one run off him in seven innings in a 4-1 loss at Citi Field last Saturday.

“It's always great to see more of a guy,” Cooper said. “To have an idea of what he's trying to do. What pitches he's trying to get you out on, and how he is trying to get you out. He left a couple of pitches I could drive.”

After his team was shut out in consecutive games, Marlins manager Don Mattingly shuffled up the lineup. Cooper moved into the second spot, with Anderson anchoring the third spot, and Alfaro was sixth.

“I'm sure our offensive struggles have been well documented, but just to get some guys going, and get a decent feeling about their night, it's nice for us,” Mattingly said.

The Marlins chalked up their first win since beating the Cubs, 6-5, on May 6. Still, it wasn’t easy, even after Alfaro’s home run made it 7-1 heading into the seventh inning.

The Mets got a pair of home runs from Pete Alonso, and Sergio Romo was called up for a two-inning save, inheriting a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the eighth inning. It was Romo’s first career two-inning save.

“We couldn't have won today if we didn't believe in ourselves, against a very formidable opponent in the Mets,” Romo said. “Let alone, arguably with the best guy in the planet on the mound. Keep riding with that. Believe in yourself. You're here for a reason. This is why part of one percent in the world gets to do this.”

With his infectious energy, Romo is keeping a struggling team upbeat.

“With all due respect for everybody, but, we're pretty good, too,” Romo said. “We wouldn't be here if we couldn't play. So run with it."

During their seven-game losing streak, the Marlins scored just eight runs, but that changed on their fourth-highest scoring game of the season.

Alfaro’s two-run homer in the fifth inning was projected at 456 feet, per Statcast, making it the longest homer by a Miami player this year. It was also the club’s first home run since Jon Berti on May 6 at Wrigley Field.

“I just tried to be ready for the fastball and tried to make good contact,” Alfaro said. “I was waiting for a fastball, and just made good contact.”

When the Marlins first faced deGrom this season, he was in total control, striking out 14 in seven shutout innings on April 3.

On Friday, the right-hander said he didn’t have the feel for his slider.

“Tonight, early it was good, and then later in the game everything was down the middle,” deGrom said. “I tried to go inside, it's down the middle. Tried to go away, it's down the middle. There's definitely work to do.”

Miami came off being blanked in two straight games against the Rays, and its scoreless innings drought reached 26 innings before Cooper’s two-run single in the third inning.

“I've hit in a lot of spots throughout my Minor League and big league career, but never in the two hole,” Cooper said. “So, it was definitely new. Just getting on base and letting those guys drive me in. It was a good collective effort tonight. Everyone did their part.”