Miguel Rojas’ line-drive, walk-off single to center in the 17th inning gave the Miami Marlins a dramatic 2-1 win over the Chicago Cubs at Marlins Park on Friday night.
Rookie Brian Anderson, who started the rally with a two-out single, scored from second base on the play. Rojas’ only hit of the night came off closer Brandon Morrow, who made his Cubs debut. Rojas was the first batter Morrow faced.
Miami’s bullpen was the story of the night.
Miami’s Jarlin Garcia pitched five perfect innings of relief before finally allowing a walk in the 15th inning. He finished his night with six scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing just one hit and two walks. As a whole, the Marlins bullpen allowed no runs in 11 2/3 innings.
Chicago’s bullpen allowed one run in 10 2/3 innings. Reliever Eddie Butler (0-1) took the loss, but he allowed just one run in seven innings.
Kris Bryant homered for the Cubs, a solo blast in the third inning that gave Chicago a 1-0 lead. Bryant, who slugged 29 homers last year, also doubled on Friday.
The game’s starting center fielders have a lot in common: 23-year-olds who played their high school ball in South Florida. Chicago’s Albert Almora (Mater Academy) went 1-for-4. Miami’s Lewis Brinson (Coral Springs) went 4-for-8, getting his first hits since the Marlins acquired him in an offseason trade. Brinson also made a diving catch that saved extra bases in the 10th inning.
Brinson’s first hit led to Miami’s first run. He came around to score on a Starlin Castro single in the bottom of the third. That was Castro’s first Marlins RBI as he was also acquired in the offseason.
Both starting pitchers fared well but left with no-decisions.
Chicago’s Kyle Hendricks, who allowed one run or fewer in his eight of his final 16 starts last year, did it again on Friday. He allowed just one run in six innings on four hits and three walks. He struck out five.
Caleb Smith, making his Marlins debut and making just his third major-league start, was also impressive, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings on four hits and three walks. He struck out a career-high eight batters.
The Marlins lost starting right fielder Garrett Cooper when he was hit by a Hendricks pitch in the fourth inning. Cooper suffered a contusion to his right wrist and was replaced by Cameron Maybin.
—Field Level Media