Starlin Castro came through in the clutch with a two-run double off Aaron Nola in the bottom of the sixth to give the Miami Marlins a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.
Castro was set up by shortstop Jon Berti, who got the Marlins on the board with a base hit, driving in catcher Bryan Holaday, who reached on his lone hit of the day. The third baseman is batting .322 with five home runs and 22 RBI through the month of August.
Elieser Hernandez gave the Marlins their first quality performance from a starting pitcher in the weekend series. The 24-year-old gave up only three hits and two runs with five strikeouts in six innings. His lone blemish came from a two-run home runs by Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins in the top of the sixth inning. After the Marlins gave up 10 walks in each of the last two games, Hernandez didn’t allow a single walk.
“That’s the goal,” Hernandez said. “That’s what we work for.”
Starlin Castro and the meerting before the game
“We had a meeting before the game,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said, “and said, `Let’s throw the ball over the plate. It’s got to start there. You can’t defend the walk. Let’s get it in the strike zone, and don’t be afraid if they hit it. Every one is not going to be a home run.”
Ryne Stanek, who was acquired in a trade with Tampa Bay, gave up a leadoff walk but retired the side for his first career save. The game last 2 hours, 38 minutes, which is a big contrast to the first two games of the series, which each lasted more than 3 1/2 hours.
“Super efficient,” Stanek said. “I didn’t realize how fast the game was moving until I looked up and it was the fifth inning and they both had like 55 pitches.”
The last place Marlins are 9-7 against the Phillies, who are within two games from the wildcard.
Pablo Lopez to return Monday
Marlins manager Don Mattingly announces Pablo Lopez is starting tomorrow and Pablo talks about getting back to health and why the injury happened in the first place. @5ReasonsSports @CincoRazonesNet pic.twitter.com/g3RYxjFLbL
— Tony Capobianco (@TonyCapobianco) August 25, 2019
Marlins manager Don Mattingly announced before the game that staring pitcher Pablo López is returning from the injured list to make his first start since June 15 on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds. He has been out with a right shoulder strain.
“We’re going to fit him in tomorrow, and that way it gives everybody an extra day,” Mattingly said. “He’s ready to go. We were happy with his last outing.”
The move will push Caleb Smith to Tuesday and Sandy Alcantara to Wednesday. Lopez is 5-5 with a 4.23 ERA in 15 starts.
“It feels like forever since I’ve been on this mound,” Lopez said. “I’m really excited. I’ve been working on some things.”
The Marlins never transferred Lopez from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL, which means his status does not impact the 40-man roster, which currently is at 39. It’s unclear what move will be made to make room for Lopez. The Marlins optioned reliever Tyler Kinley to Triple-A New Orleans to bring up Kyle Keller.
“This move is all about having to have pitching today,” Mattingly said.