Marlins break through late, win series vs. NY

August 5th, 2021

MIAMI -- After getting swept by the Bronx Bombers over the weekend, the last-place Marlins captured the four-game series vs. the National League East-leading Mets in a 4-2 victory on Thursday afternoon at loanDepot park.

“Baseball's a tough sport,” acting manager James Rowson said. “We watch so many games, and you see where there are times where it just doesn't bounce your way, and it's really the teams that can bounce back from the tough situations and move forward that continue to win. I think our guys did a great job of that, especially coming off that Yankees series.”

Here are three players who made a difference in the finale.

Appearing behind the dish for the first time since starting three straight games in left field, Alfaro sent a Jeurys Familia sinker for a go-ahead single in a three-run eighth. Lewis Brinson followed with a two-run double. Earlier in the series, Brinson belted a grand slam and drove in five from the cleanup spot in a Miami win.

Rowson, who is the club’s bench coach and the organization’s offensive coordinator, said he had no issue plugging Alfaro into the third spot in the order for the first time in his career. One of the reasons Miami moved him to left was to keep his bat in the lineup. Of late, Rowson has seen Alfaro consistently hit the ball hard to all fields; now it’s a matter of pitch selection.

“It's the same thing even if I'm in left field, first base, anywhere on the field,” Alfaro said. “Every time I get there, I step on the field, it's the same thing. My mentality is to win, give my 100% wherever I am, wherever I'm playing, give 100% for my teammates.”

Garrett, celebrating his 24th birthday, went five scoreless innings and exited the ballgame with the lead in his return to the Majors. He scattered five hits -- all singles -- with four walks and six strikeouts. The southpaw bent but didn't break, working out of jams from the get-go, when he stranded the bases loaded with no outs in the first. He never pitched a clean inning, with at least two runners reaching in three of his five frames.

Ranked as Miami's No. 7 prospect, Garrett has compiled a 1.50 ERA his last two starts against the postseason hopeful Mets and Padres. During that span, he has allowed two runs, walked five and fanned 16 in 12 innings. Garrett lowered his season ERA to 3.58 in six games (five starts).

“He was really pleased, especially about the first inning,” Garrett said of pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. “He said I beared down, made a ton of good pitches, and my command today was pretty good. I know I walked four, which I don't like, but even my balls were in good lanes, in good spots. They weren't just uncompetitive pitches, so he was really happy with that. My changeup has come a long way. I threw it a ton tonight. I threw it a ton against San Diego, so all around he was pleased.”

All season, the Marlins have shuttled pitchers in and out of their rotation due to injuries. This week alone, Nick Neidert (No. 9 prospect) collected his first victory in Tuesday's game before being optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville. Zach Thompson, a consistent presence since his callup on June 7, toed the rubber in Wednesday's loss. Garrett was recalled prior to the series finale in place of NL Rookie of the Year candidate Trevor Rogers, who is away from the team on the family medical emergency list.

With the departure of John Curtiss at the Trade Deadline, Campbell is a swingman option. He can slot into the multiple-innings role -- or open if necessary.

Reinstated from the restricted list on Wednesday after serving an 80-game suspension, the Rule 5 Draft pick pitched 1 2/3 shutout frames in his first MLB appearance since May 1. Miami’s No. 24 prospect entered a 1-1 ballgame with the bases loaded and two outs, and he got Dominic Smith to fly out to end the sixth.

“Just living in the moment,” Campbell said. “ ... That moment being back out there, I felt like that's where I belong. Just giving my best effort and trying to make pitches and help this ballclub win games is all I care about. Everything I've done up to this point, I've done for that moment.”