MIAMI — Coming back to the ballpark a day after losing 16-1 can be a daunting task. However, on the final Legacy Saturday of the regular season, Miami edged out a victory against the first place Brewers to stay only one game out of the final Wild Card spot, beating Milwaukee 5-4.
Miami’s offense got going quickly in the bottom of the first after a lead off single by Luis Arraez. Josh Bell worked a one-out walk which put two men on for the other JB – Jake Burger– who launched a three-run shot to give Miami an early 3-0 lead. In just the first inning, Miami scored more runs against Milwaukee than they had in any of their previous five games against them.
“He has a really good fastball and I just sort of reacted to the slider there,” said Burger on his home run. Nick Fortes added to the scoring with a sac-fly in the fourth inning to extend Miami’s lead to 4-0.
Jesus Luzardo was on the bump for Miami and was tasked with facing the same Brewers lineup (plus Christian Yelich) that got to him for six earned runs on ten hits on September 11 in Milwaukee. In his next start, though, he tossed six shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves and then carried that momentum early into his start on Saturday.
“I felt really good. My pitches were doing exactly what I wanted them to do. I felt like I was cursing through five, and then a walk and a double hurt me a bit, but I felt good,” said Luzardo on his outing.
He stymied the Brewers’ offense for five solid innings and retired ten straight at one point. The top of the sixth is where things got messy for Miami.
After the walk and double to begin the frame, William Contreras dribbled a ball to first baseman Josh Bell, who booted the ball, which allowed a run to score (it was interestingly called a base hit). That’s when Skip went to his left-hander AJ Puk, who entered Saturday having allowed nine home runs on the year. He added to that total as the first batter he faced, Carlos Santana, drilled a three-run home run to tie the game at four apiece. It was the 300th career home run for Santana.
That closed the book for Luzardo, whose final line was 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO. He threw 86 pitches, 56 for strikes.
“Zeus [Luzardo] did exactly what we needed him to do. Got us into the sixth inning and handed it over to a really good bullpen. Obviously, it didn’t work out with Puk, but Zeus did a really nice job for us and set the tone,” said manager Skip Schumaker postgame.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the eighth, where Miami took advantage of some luck. Jake Burger led off the inning with a walk and was replaced by the faster Garrett Hampson on first. Bryan De La Cruz then singled to right, which put runners on the corners with nobody out. After a Jesus Sanchez strikeout, Milwaukee reliever Joel Payamps spiked a pitch that got to the backstop, allowing Hampson to score the winning run.
After consecutive outings in which he’s allowed an earned run, Marlins closer Tanner Scott pitched a perfect top of the ninth to secure the win and earn his 10th save of the season. Miami improved to 80-75 while Milwaukee fell to 88-67. With the Cubs’ win on Saturday, the Marlins stay one game back of the third Wild Card spot. Edward Cabrera will get the ball for the rubber match on Sunday afternoon which will be the final home game of the regular season for the Marlins.
News and notes:
- Prior to Saturday’s contest, RHP Jeff Lindgren had his contract selected from Triple-A Jacksonville and RHP Eury Perez was placed on the 15-day IL with left SI joint inflammation. “During that last start, I did feel a little pain in my lower back, the left side.”
- With their win on Saturday, Miami reached the 80-win mark for the first time since 2010. It was also their 45th win at loanDepot Park, marking the first time they’ve won that many at home since 2008.
- Also on Saturday, RHP Sandy Alcantara confirmed to the media that he is done for the season.
- Burger launched his 34th home run of the season and ninth as a Marlin.
- Luis Arraez was taken out of the game in the top of the ninth inning after re-aggravating his left ankle slipping down the dugout stairs.
- LHP Matt Moore made his Marlins debut on Saturday, pitching a scoreless seventh. “I’ve watched him for a long time, it’s nice to have him on our side. He does not scare, he has seen every situation possible in the big leagues, and he’s been really good. You’re going to see him in those spots because we trust him,” said Skip.
- Former Marlin Christian Yelich recorded the 1,500th hit of his career on Saturday.