Rojas flirts with cycle, Marlins hit 4 HRs in win

July 26th, 2020

Since their inaugural season in 1993, the Marlins have celebrated two World Series titles, have had four National League Rookie of the Year Award winners, watched six pitchers throw no-hitters, and had two NL batting champions as well as a Most Valuable Player Award winner.

Still, what has eluded every player who has worn the uniform is hitting for the cycle -- a single, double, triple and home run in the same game. came close on Sunday, completing three legs while driving in four runs in Miami’s 11-6 win over Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park.

Rojas finished a double shy of completing the cycle. After going 3-for-3 in his first three at-bats, he was struck on the right hand by a pitch from Nick Pivetta in the seventh inning, and struck out in the ninth inning against Hector Neris.

“I'm not going to lie,” Rojas said. “I would have been really happy to get the first cycle for the Marlins organization. That would be special for me.”

Rojas sparked the offense with a game-tying three-run homer, an RBI triple and a single, and he scored three times.

Rojas noted that the circumstances were right to think about driving the ball and getting an extra-base hit in his final two plate appearances. There was no one on base each time, so he didn’t have to seek a personal achievement at perhaps the expense of the club.

“I was being kind of selfish, because the situation gave me the opportunity to think like that,” he said. “I could think about hitting the ball hard, trying to get it to the wall. That's what my approach was. Look for a good pitch to hit and hit it hard. There is nothing wrong with that approach. I was trying to get a ball, to hit it far. It didn't happen, but I'm really happy with the results, that we got a 'W.' RBIs up and down the lineup.”

With the comeback victory, the Marlins took two of three in the series.

“Miggy would take this win every day of the week over the cycle,” manager Don Mattingly said. “Hopefully, we're moving in that direction -- one win over one guy doing something. I think that's where we're moving. I know that's where Miggy is at.”

In this 60-game sprint of a season, the Marlins showed tremendous resolve.

The Marlins needed a big offensive outburst on Sunday because the Phillies scored four in the first inning -- three on a Bryce Harper homer -- off Robert Dugger, who was making an emergency start in place of José Ureña, who was scratched due to an undisclosed reason.

But the Marlins quickly rallied back, powered by four home runs. Rojas and Brian Anderson each hit a three-run homer, and Jesús Aguilar and Corey Dickerson added solo shots.

Aguilar homered off Philly starter Vince Velasquez in the second inning, and Rojas connected on his three-run shot to tie it. Statcast tracked the home run at a projected 367 feet, with an exit velocity of 95.2 mph.

In the fourth inning, Rojas delivered a triple, just the fourth of his career. And in the fifth inning, he checked the "single" box off the cycle list.

Regarded mostly for his defense, Rojas is off to a hot start, hitting .700 in the first three games.

“I'm happy with the way the guys came out of the gate,” he said. “It doesn't matter what happened in the morning [when Ureña was scratched], or what the situation was. I feel like everybody in this clubhouse, when we decided to play this year, we knew we were going to face adversity at some point.”