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Richards keeps SF quiet, earns first MLB win

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- An undrafted signee who played Independent League ball, Trevor Richards celebrated his first big league victory on Tuesday.

A long-shot story, Richards has since progressed into a dependable right-hander, known for remaining level-headed and being a strike-thrower. In his seventh big league start, he gave up one run in six innings. Backed by JT Riddle's two-run double in the third inning, he was on the winning end of a 3-1 decision over the Giants at Marlins Park.

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MIAMI -- An undrafted signee who played Independent League ball, Trevor Richards celebrated his first big league victory on Tuesday.

A long-shot story, Richards has since progressed into a dependable right-hander, known for remaining level-headed and being a strike-thrower. In his seventh big league start, he gave up one run in six innings. Backed by JT Riddle's two-run double in the third inning, he was on the winning end of a 3-1 decision over the Giants at Marlins Park.

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"He's been a good story," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He's thrown the ball well. Obviously, the Pitcher of the Year [Award winner] last year in the Minor Leagues. Really good reports on his makeup and how he works and competes. He pays attention. It's good to see guys like that have success."

Video: SF@MIA: Mattingly talks Richards' 1st career victory

Richards is the first pitcher from Drury University in Springfield, Mo., to win a Major League game. The program hasn't had too many big leaguers, but one is Bill Virdon, who played for the Cardinals and Pirates from 1955-68. Virdon went on to manage the Pirates, Yankees, Astros and Expos in the 1970s and '80s.

"It's great," Richards said. "It's good to get that one out of the way. It's been too long. It's good to get it done and continue it on from here. I think I'm the first Drury pitcher to win an MLB game. Just continue to build from here."

Ranked as Miami's No. 19 prospect, Richards settled after a shaky first inning, striking out two while allowing two hits before he was replaced after 96 pitches.

Kyle Barraclough notched his fourth save, and his second in as many nights. Miami has taken the first two games in the series.

"It's fun to give them their little introduction after their first win," Barraclough said of Richards. "He threw really well. After those first two hitters, he was a little shaky. But then he just locked it in. He started a little shaky, then seemed to lock it in and just cruise."

Video: SF@MIA: Ziegler induces inning-ending double play

After falling behind early, the Marlins scored three times off Chris Stratton in the third inning, with Derek Dietrich getting things started with a leadoff single. Brian Anderson was then hit by a pitch on his left hand, and with one out, Starlin Castro delivered an RBI single, pulling Miami even at 1. Riddle's two-run double capped the frame.

"The guys in front of me got on base, it kind of got the inning going," Riddle said. "He left me a fastball over the middle of the plate after I swung through two of those. I was thinking it might come back with another one. He left it over the plate, and I put a good swing on it."

Video: SF@MIA: Riddle lines a 2-run double to right

Richards was with the Marlins early in April, but he also spent time at Triple-A New Orleans, where he logged a 2.06 ERA.

With all their pitching prospects, the Marlins are emphasizing strike-throwing. One reason Richards got promoted recently was the fact he walked just four in 39 1/3 innings at New Orleans. But on Tuesday, the rookie walked Joe Panik and Buster Posey to open the game.

"I got a little too excited for the game, a little amped up," Richards said. "I lost mechanics and was able to settle down and keep going."

Panik scored on Brandon Crawford's sharp groundout to Riddle at shortstop. It was the lone run allowed by Richards.

Video: SF@MIA: Riddle makes nice diving stop on Crawford

"JT saved that inning, that was a huge play," Richards said. "I just happened to have good defense behind me out there."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
At the start of the season, Castro was batting third, and for a while, the veteran second baseman hit leadoff. On Tuesday, he was in the No. 5 spot, behind Justin Bour. And when Bour walked to load the bases with one out in the third inning, Castro slapped an RBI single to left that tied it at 1. Riddle followed with his two-run double, which gave the Marlins the lead for good.

Video: SF@MIA: Castro grounds an RBI single to left

"It was one of those games," Mattingly said. "Their guy threw the ball well. He's a guy we didn't know. We got just enough."

SOUND SMART
Bour drew walks in his first two plate appearances, giving him 47 in 65 games. A year ago, the Marlins first baseman walked 47 times all season, over 108 games.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Taking secondary leads against the Marlins has become risky business for opponents. In the fifth inning, after drawing a walk and advancing on Stratton's sacrifice bunt, Gorkys Hernandez drifted a bit far off the bag at second base, and catcher J.T. Realmuto made him pay. Realmuto threw down to Riddle, and the Miami shortstop applied the tag for the third out. Statcast™ tracked Realmuto's pop time at 1.78 seconds. The MLB average on a throw to second base is 2.01 seconds. Realmuto's release time was .63 seconds.

Video: SF@MIA: Realmuto picks off Hernandez at second

"That was big," Mattingly said. "They get the bunt. They have the top of the order there, with Panik. To end that without having to make any more pitches -- he goes back out and puts up a zero, and gets us where we needed to go today."

HE SAID IT
"We're just coming in and attacking. We sat down as a bullpen in Arizona and were like, 'We've just got to attack and get back to what we were doing at the beginning of the season and remembering what made us successful, and that we belong here.' A lot of guys are up here for the first time, and getting their feet wet still, and going through the ups and downs and ebbs and flows. Now, they're starting to get successful again." -- Barraclough, on the bullpen getting back on track

Video: SF@MIA: Barraclough fans McCutchen, tallies 4th save

UP NEXT
Caleb Smith tops all rookies with 79 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings. The left-hander gets the start Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET in the third game of the series with the Giants, who counter with lefty Andrew Suarez, a former University of Miami standout. Smith has a 3.16 ERA in his past seven starts.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Starlin Castro, Trevor Richards, JT Riddle