A fifth-inning rally against Miami’s newest pitcher flipped Saturday’s game upside down.
The Miami Marlins reportedly shopped for veteran starting pitching reinforcements prior to the MLB trade deadline. However, they didn’t find any priced to their liking. It left a void in their rotation, temporarily filled by George Soriano, who made the first start of his major league career on Saturday against the Texas Rangers. He wasn’t stretched out for a regular starter’s workload, though, leaving the rest of the pitching staff responsible for preserving an early lead. In his Marlins debut, Ryan Weathers wasn’t up for the task in the 9-8 loss.
The Marlins needed a pair of fresh arms prior to the game, replacing Devin Smeltzer (designated for assignment after pitching each of the previous two days) and JT Chargois (placed on the 15-day injured list with a right rib cage strain). Weathers and Huascar Brazoban were recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville as the corresponding moves.
Soriano kept the explosive Rangers lineup off the scoreboard through three innings, locating his signature slider well to both sides of the plate.
Meanwhile, the Marlins had a lot of success against Jon Gray. They plated three runs in the top of third, the last of those coming on a Jazz Chisholm Jr. infield single. Unfortunately, his right hamstring cramped up on a subsequent stolen base attempt, forcing him to exit the game.
The Jazz-less Marlins stretched their lead to 5-0 in the next inning, punctuated by a two-out Luis Arraez RBI double.
“Skip (Schumaker) told me to take it easy—we were up by five (runs) at the time. No need to go out there and try to be Superman like I always try to do,” Chisholm said postgame. He hopes to play on Sunday.
Soriano got ahead in the count 0-2 against Adolis García in the fourth inning. That’s when things collapsed. García drew a 10-pitch walk, Josh Jung singled and Robbie Grossman clobbered a poorly placed slider for a three-run home run.
Unflattering final line for the rookie right-hander: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR (59 pitches/36 strikes).
Steven Okert temporarily halted the Rangers’ momentum, holding the score at 5-3 with a scoreless inning of relief. Weathers may physically resemble him, but he predictably struggled in this situation. The former San Diego Padre hadn’t pitched since July 26 and was previously expected to work as a starter in Jacksonville before the major league team’s needs took precedent over his development.
In the fifth inning, four of the five batters atop the Texas lineup reached base safely against Weathers. Corey Seager went yard to tie it up and Josh Jung followed suit to make it 7-5, homering against a changeup and a slider, respectively.
With the Marlins now trailing, Weathers was left out there to wear it. The hope was he’d be able to finish the game himself, but at 95 pitches, Skip Schumaker mercifully let him hit the showers with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
The Marlins have now lost 12 of their last 13 road games. For the first time since June 4, they’re only four games over the .500 mark.
- The Marlins dropped to 24-10 in one-run games.
- In his fourth game since the trade, Jake Burger hit his first Marlins home run, a two-run shot against Will Smith that made the ninth inning slightly more interesting. Burger has more homers (26) than singles (24) this season.
- Joey Wendle singled to snap out of a 0-for-28 slump.
- Probable starters for the series finale are Sandy Alcantara and Andrew Heaney. That will leave the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros as the only non-Marlins teams Alcantara hasn’t faced during his career.
- The Marlins need another “fresh arm” to replace Weathers for the rest of this road trip, and they’re reportedly going with their very best internal option, per Craig Mish of SportsGrid. Eury Pérez will be Monday’s probable starter against the Cincinnati Reds, returning one month after being optioned to Double-A Pensacola.
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