Rookie left-hander Caleb Smith struck out nine batters to earn his first major-league win as the Miami Marlins defeated the Colorado Rockies 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park.
The last-place Marlins took two of three games from the Rockies to win their second straight series. Prior to this week, the Marlins hadn’t won any series this season.
Smith pitched a career-high seven innings, allowing two hits — both singles — and one walk. One of those singles, by Ian Desmond, was erased when he was caught attempting to steal second base.
In his past two starts, Smith has struck out 19 and walked just one, lowering his ERA to 4.40. Smith continued a positive trend for Miami starting pitchers, who have allowed two runs or fewer in seven straight outings.
Smith was supported offensively by Miguel Rojas, who homered; rookie Lewis Brinson, who had an RBI single; and Starlin Castro, who added a sacrifice fly.
After Smith left the game, Miami’s Drew Steckenrider pitched a scoreless eighth, striking out the side while working around a single. Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save of the season. Ziegler struck out two.
Colorado starter Chad Bettis (3-1) took his first loss of the season, allowing four hits, one walk and two runs in seven innings. His ERA, which leads all Rockies starters, went up slightly to 2.43.
Miami opened the scoring in the second. Brian Anderson hit a leadoff single and beat a throw to second on a hit-and-run groundout, barely avoiding what would have been a double play. Anderson then scored on Brinson’s two-out, opposite-field single to right, which was struck on a 1-2 slider.
Rojas jumped on a first-pitch slider to give Miami a 2-0 lead with his solo homer in the fourth. It was Rojas’ career-high fourth homer, and half of them have come against Cy Young winners Clayton Kershaw and Jake Arrieta. Prior to this season, Rojas had just four career homers in parts of four seasons.
Miami extended its lead to 3-0 in the eighth. Bryan Holaday drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a J.B. Shuck bunt single and J.T. Realmuto’s walk. Holaday scored on Castro’s sacrifice fly. Right fielder David Dahl’s throw beat Holaday, but catcher Tony Wolters dropped the ball.
—Field Level Media