Marlins reel in first win of '18, walk off in 17th

March 31st, 2018

MIAMI -- The first career walk-off hit by ended the longest-innings game in Marlins Park history.

With two out in the 17th inning, Rojas laced a single to center off , scoring with the decisive run in a 2-1 victory over the Cubs on Friday.

For the first time since Marlins Park opened in 2012, a game went as long as 17 innings. The Marlins and Mets played 16 innings on April 13, 2017.

"It was amazing after 17 innings, and they brought their closer in, too," Rojas said. "They brought their best guy in that situation. I felt like watching him in his warmups. I felt that was so important, because watching him, I saw he was trying to get a feel for the strike zone."

The win was the first for the Marlins under the new ownership of Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter.

"I was pretty proud of Bruce, he was next to the dugout the whole game," Rojas said. "He didn't leave. He was there, watching every little play, every move. That was encouraging for me."

After an 8-4 loss on Opening Day, winning a marathon-style game was a relief for a young team looking to gain some confidence.

"You don't want that first one to take too long to get, because then you start pressing and things like that," manager Don Mattingly said. "Any type of game like that, you fight for, and win, 2-1, that's a battle. We know how good the Cubs are. It's one of those wins that feels really good for our club."

In the 17th, Anderson singled with two out off Eddie Butler, and added a single, prompting the Cubs to go with their closer, Morrow. Rojas previously had a walk-off RBI, but never a walk-off hit, before he was mobbed by his teammates. The game lasted 5 hours, 18 minutes, and the longest game at the park is 5:38 (that original 17-inning game).

The winning pitcher was , who worked a clean 17th inning, throwing 11 pitches. Despaigne is scheduled to start on Saturday, and after the game, he said he can still go. The Marlins haven't made any final decisions.

Center fielder had four singles, and became the first Marlins rookie since J.T. Realmuto (June 5, 2015 at Colorado) to have at least four hits in a game. Brinson also made a diving catch on 's sinking liner with two outs in the 10th. According to Statcast™, Brinson had a 58 percent catch probability, and it was rated a three-star catch.

The endurance test taxed both rosters. Butler threw 90 pitches over a career-high seven innings. The most recent time a reliever had more than 80 pitches in relief was (89) of the Padres on May 22, 2016.

Miami's worked six innings of relief, which was longer than starter , who went 5 1/3 innings.


Zig-zag out of trouble: Marlins closer worked out of trouble in the ninth inning after the Cubs put two on with two out. Ziegler was inches away from a clean inning, but he was unable to make a play on Albert Almora Jr.'s chopped grounder. The ball deflected off Ziegler's glove and Castro at second wasn't able to field the ball cleanly. Bryant was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second. But Ziegler retired on a fly ball to center.

Loaded and left in 15th: Garcia wiggled out of a major jam in the 15th inning, after having the bases loaded and one out. walked, becoming the first baserunner allowed in six innings by Garcia. Bryant singled, and was forced out at second on Rizzo's grounder to second. The Cubs challenged the out at second, but the ruling stood. was intentionally walked, and Garcia got to ground to first base. stepped on the bag, and threw home, and Caratini was tagged out.


"Brinson gave me the Gatorade bath, and the pie, but they have to get better, with the monkey mask. People were waiting for the monkey. I'm sorry guys, I was the guy today. But I'm going to be there tomorrow." -- Rojas, on being smeared with shaving cream after the game. Usually, it is Rojas wearing a monkey mask and doing the walk-off honors


Smith's eight strikeouts ties for the second most by a Marlins pitcher making their debut. (2013) and ('17) also had eight. Mark Redman (2003) had a franchise-high 10.

Butler, the last player named to the 25-man roster, pitched seven innings in relief, topping his career high of six. It's the longest relief appearance by a Cubs pitcher since Scott Sanderson went eight on Aug. 6, 1989. Butler threw 90 pitches, while Hendricks threw 88 over six innings.


The first review of the series came in the fifth inning after Dietrich was called out at first, which at first appeared to complete a 5-4-3 double play. The Marlins challenged that Dietrich was safe, and after a review of 51 seconds, the call was overturned. But the next batter, Castro, bounced into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

In the 15th inning, the Cubs challenged a fielder's choice grounder by Rizzo. On the play Castro forced Bryant at second, and the call was ruled to stand, claiming shortstop Rojas had the out.


In the fourth inning, Marlins right fielder was struck on the right wrist, and he left the game. Cooper was diagnosed with a right wrist contusion, and is day to day. Maybin pinch-ran and remained in right field. More >


Cubs: Right-hander will make his Cubs debut at 6:10 p.m. CT on Saturday in the third of this four-game series. This will be his first career start at Marlins Park. Darvish, who signed a six-year deal in mid-February, has faced the Marlins twice, throwing a six-hit shutout in June 2014, and giving up 10 runs over 3 2/3 innings last July 26.

Marlins: Friday's game lasted so long that Despaigne, originally scheduled to start on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET, entered in relief in the 17th inning. So Miami may have to go with a backup plan.

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