MIAMI -- Miguel Rojas made his return to the starting lineup an impactful one. The shortstop connected on a three-run home run in a five-run sixth inning that rallied the Marlins to a 9-3 win over the Yankees on Wednesday night at Marlins Park.Rojas had not started since Aug. 13
MIAMI -- Miguel Rojas made his return to the starting lineup an impactful one. The shortstop connected on a three-run home run in a five-run sixth inning that rallied the Marlins to a 9-3 win over the Yankees on Wednesday night at Marlins Park.
Rojas had not started since Aug. 13 due to a bruised left ankle in the second game of a doubleheader against the Braves. The veteran infielder also played with a little extra motivation, as his mother, Norma, who lives in Venezuela, was in attendance.
Since bruising his ankle, Rojas had made five pinch-hit appearances but wasn't back at shortstop until the series finale with New York.
"I really wanted to get back there, because I know the season is almost over," Rojas said. "I'm having a season that I can just continue to improve hitting-wise, and help this team win. This is not a time to take it easy or sit because you're not 100 percent. This is a time when you go out there and play your hardest. If you need to rehab or whatever, you do that after the season is over."
Having his mother, sister and grandfather at the game also meant a lot to Rojas.
"They come like once a year and watch a couple of series," Rojas said. "Last year, they were here just for one homestand. This year, they're going to stay a little longer. It's always fun to play in front of my family. One of the things I remember the most is playing in winter ball, in front of my family and friends. To do something in front of them was pretty special."
JT Riddle delivered a two-run, pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning, padding Miami's lead to five runs.
By overcoming an early two-run deficit, the Marlins split their two-game Interleague series with the Yankees, snapping New York's four-game winning streak.
Entering the sixth inning, the Marlins mounted their comeback off Lance Lynn. Brian Anderson and Starlin Castro each singled. After Derek Dietrich's groundout advanced both runners into scoring position, Austin Dean's infield single -- his third hit of the game -- put the Marlins on the board.
The run also snapped a string of 12 scoreless innings by the Marlins, who lost 2-1 in 12 innings on Tuesday.
"You try to reset your club and your thinking as far as where we're at, and how we have to play," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "I think they kind of came together and are playing hard. That's all you ask, really."
Rojas' home run was his 10th of the season, and according to Statcast™, it was projected at 372 feet with an exit speed of 96.3 mph.
"A couple of infield hits and a homer, really," Lynn said of his night. "I made one bad pitch and it cost me three runs, and I wasn't able to get out of it. Just give me one pitch back and it might be a different ballgame."
The Marlins added another run on Yadiel Rivera's pinch-hit, RBI double off Tommy Kahnle.
Marlins rookie Trevor Richards kept the Yankees off-stride over 5 1/3 innings, striking out nine and effectively mixing his four-seam fastball, slider and changeup. Of his 30 changeups, he got nine swinging strikes. Richards held New York without a hit until one out in the fourth inning.
The first hit Richards allowed was a costly one. He walked Aaron Hicks with one out in the fourth, and with two outs, Neil Walker laced an RBI double to right. Rafael Ortega made a diving attempt on the liner, but he couldn't make the play.
"It's always fun to throw against the Yankees and in front of a crowd," Richards said. "Once the game started, it's another team. Just focus on the hitters and execute pitches."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tayron Guerrero inherited a tough spot in the seventh inning from Adam Conley, who logged two quick outs before Luke Voit's pinch-hit single and Brett Gardner's walk.
Guerrero entered to face Giancarlo Stanton. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position. Stanton then chopped an infield, RBI single, closing the deficit to 5-3. But Guerrero got out of the jam by striking out Hicks looking at a full-count, 101-mph fastball.
"He kind of gathered himself," Mattingly said of Guerrero after the Stanton hit. "It felt like it was going to get a little hairy. It's really the first time I've brought him in the middle of an inning in a long time. I think that's part of growth in guys."
Guerrero then worked a clean eighth inning. The Marlins are looking to get Guerrero into more high-leverage situations to see if he can handle the big moments.
"Tayron, obviously, has to step forward," Mattingly said. "Tonight, being able to bring him into a situation, which we have to do moving forward. If he's going to be a major piece for us, you've got to be able to bring a guy in in trouble."
Dean, playing in his sixth big league game since being called up from Triple-A New Orleans, had his first three-hit game.
HE SAID IT
"We threw a little more sliders tonight than we have in the past. Just trying to work it in a little bit more. It made the changeup a little bit better, knowing there was something else I could throw up there. Fastball command was there, and the changeup played as well." -- Richards, on how the slider helped his fastball and changeup
With Jose Urena dropping his appeal and serving his six-game suspension, right-hander Elieser Hernandez is taking his spot in the Marlins' rotation. The rookie will be making his sixth MLB start and 27th appearance on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park against the Braves. Atlanta is going with lefty Sean Newcomb.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.