Jesús Sánchez hit a three-run homer and started the winning rally in the ninth with a double to lead the Miami Marlins to a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
The victory improved the Marlins to 12-0 in one-run games, the best start to a season in baseball history in that category. They had been tied with the 1972 New York Mets.
Sánchez led off the ninth against Andrew Chafin (2-1) with an opposite-field double to left. Miguel Castro relieved and Bryan De La Cruz ran for Sánchez and advanced to third on Jon Berti’s groundout. Joey Wendle doubled down the line in left to drive in the go-ahead run.
Dylan Floro (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the Marlins and A.J. Puk, the seventh Miami pitcher, finished for his sixth save.
“Sánchez had good at-bats all series,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said.
He also credited the bullpen, which posted 10 of its 17 outs by strikeout Wednesday, as the reason for the win and the one-run record.
“They were lights out, a bright spot all year, every guy out there,” Schumaker said of his relief corps. “They’ve gone in different situations — leverage, non-leverage, multiple innings, get one out — whatever we’ve asked of them they’ve showed up.”
Last year, the Marlins were 24-40 in games decided by one run.
“I think we have confidence, the expectation that we’re going to win those games,” Wendle said.
Both starting pitchers breezed through the first three innings before hitting trouble in the fourth.
Merrill Kelly retired the first 10 Miami batters before Jorge Soler singled and Luis Arraez walked. Sánchez followed with a 441-foot blast to dead center on a 2-2 pitch.
The Marlins’ 3-0 lead didn’t last long — and neither did Edward Cabrera. He struck out five and gave up one hit in the first three innings, then poor control knocked him out in the fourth. Four walks and a balk made it a one-run game before Geraldo Perdomo singled to tie it. Steven Okert relieved and gave up an RBI groundout to Alek Thomas. Cabrera was charged with four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Garrett Hampson’s RBI single in the fifth tied it for Miami. Kelly lasted six innings, allowing four hits and four earned runs, walking one and striking out six.
The Marlins won four of six games against the Diamondbacks this season, winning two of three last month in Miami in addition to this series.
Arraez went 0 for 3 with a walk, ending his hitting streak at 12 games and lowering his major-league best average to .398. He struck out against Chafin in the eighth, just the ninth time the 2022 AL batting champion has fanned this season.
Arizona’s Corbin Carroll appeared to beat out a bunt for a hit in the fifth, but was ruled out by plate umpire Dan Bellino for going out of the baseline while attempting to elude the tag attempt by first baseman Arraez.
Marlins: Sánchez was removed for a pinch runner as a precaution. Schumaker said after the game that Sánchez “felt a little something in his hamstring and I just didn’t want to push it.”
Marlins: Off on Thursday. Eury Pérez, a 20-year-old right-hander and one of the Marlins’ top prospects, will make his major league debut at home on Friday against Cincinnati. General manager Kim Ng said after the game that with Trevor Rogers and Johnny Cueto still sidelined with injuries, there was an opportunity for Pérez, who Ng said has performed and gives them “great confidence that he will do well.”
Diamondbacks: Open a four-game series Thursday against the Giants at Chase Field. LHP Tommy Henry (1-0, 5.17) gets the start.
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