WASHINGTON -- It didn't take long for Martin Prado to make his presence felt with the Marlins.With two outs in the second inning of Thursday night's 14-12 loss to the Nationals, Prado launched a three-run home run off Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, highlighting a six-run inning that gave Miami a
WASHINGTON -- It didn't take long for Martin Prado to make his presence felt with the Marlins.
With two outs in the second inning of Thursday night's 14-12 loss to the Nationals, Prado launched a three-run home run off Nationals right-hander Jeremy Hellickson, highlighting a six-run inning that gave Miami a 7-0 lead at Nationals Park.
"Obviously, it was good early for us," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said."We did a nice job with Hellickson. We had a good approach with him. He's a guy who is not going to overpower you. You're going to have to force him to throw strikes, and stay in the middle of the field with him."
Earlier in the day, the Marlins activated Prado from the 10-day disabled list, after he was out with a left hamstring strain. Prado was playing in his first game since May 25 at Miami -- also against Washington.
A veteran leader on a young squad, Prado started at third base in the series opener, and he accounted for four of Miami's runs off the veteran Hellickson.
In the first inning, Prado tapped a ground ball to third baseman Anthony Rendon, which was misplayed for an error, bringing in an unearned run.
Prado made a bigger splash in the second inning. Turning on Hellickson's 89.7-mph four-seam fastball, the 34-year-old third baseman lifted a drive that stayed just fair and deflected off the left-field foul pole.
Statcast™ projected the drive at 374 feet, with a 101.4 mph exit velocity and a 24-degree launch angle.
It was Prado's first home run of the season, and first since April 26, 2017, at Philadelphia.
The veteran now has 98 career home runs.
Before the game, Prado spoke about the maturation of a Marlins squad that is showing improvement in the first season under the ownership group headed by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. But Thursday was a night the Marlins' resolve was tested, as they let a game that was in hand slip away.
In terms of the big picture -- building a new culture in Miami -- Prado is encouraged.
"It's just really fun to watch," Prado said. "It's kind of like, they're creating an environment where they're identifying themselves as ballers. They just play the game the right way. I'm really pleased in thinking, this is what the new ownership wants. They're probably a little shocked that these guys are doing it earlier than expected, actually."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.