MIAMI -- For the second straight day, the Miami Marlins
rallied from several scoreless innings and an early deficit to defeat the Minnesota Twins
5-3 on Wednesday at Marlins Park.
The Marlins (27-50), who were scoreless after five innings on Tuesday, put up four zeroes in the series finale before making their move and sweeping the two games with the Twins.
Two unlikely sources -- backup catcher Jeff Mathis
and struggling third baseman Placido Polanco
-- provided the power, each jacking two-run homers. It was the first homer of the season for each.
Polanco's blast, on a 3-2 pitch in the sixth from Twins starter Scott Diamond (5-7), broke a 3-3 deadlock.
The Marlins' bullpen took over from there, getting three shutout innings from Kevin Slowey (3-6) and one from Mike Dunn. Steve Cishek pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save of the season and his ninth this month.
On Tuesday, the Marlins' pen allowed just one run in four innings.
Miami is now 13-9 in June, which is the best record in the National League, pending Wednesday results by the Pittsburgh Pirates (13-9) and San Diego Padres
(14-10). The Marlins already have more June wins than last year, when they posted only eight.
Meanwhile, the Twins (34-40) return home after a 1-4 road trip to Cleveland and Miami.
The Twins, helped by a Marlins' error, got off to a fast start with three first-inning runs against Tom Koehler
. After Clete Thomas drew a leadoff walk, Koehler appeared to have him picked off. But the throw got past first baseman Logan Morrison, and Thomas raced to third. The error was charged to Koehler, but Morrison could have caught the ball.
Minnesota capitalized on the mistake with run-scoring singles from Joe Mauer and ex-Marlin Josh Willingham. Oswaldo Arcia's run-scoring groundout capped the inning.
The Marlins tied the score 3-3 with three runs in the fifth. After a leadoff single by Polanco, Mathis homered to left.
Polanco entered the game hitting .235 and has been bothered by back issues. Mathis was hitting .098.
After Mathis' homer, Miami loaded the bases with singles by Slowey -- his first hit since 2008 -- Justin Ruggiano and Ed Lucas. Giancarlo Stanton had a run-scoring groundout. But Marcell Ozuna - whose 21 hits with runners in scoring position lead the team -- struck out on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
NOTES: Wednesday's attendance was 15,318. ... Twins OF Byron Buxton, 19, is the No. 1 prospect in the minor leagues, according to Baseball Prospectus, which just released its updated midseason rankings. Buxton, who is playing in Class A, was the second overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. Other Royals prospects on the top-50 list are 3B Miguel Sano (No. 6) and RHP Alex Meyer (No. 44). ... Ruggiano, who slugged two homers on Sunday and missed Tuesday's start with a sore shoulder, was back in the starting lineup. ... Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco
may be auditioning for the Padres when he faces San Diego on Friday. FOX Sports reports that the Padres are one of several teams -- the Dodgers, Rockies, Giants and Orioles are also in the mix -- looking to trade for Nolasco before the July 31 deadline. Nolasco's contract expires after this season and the Marlins want to get something for him before he bolts. ... Koehler (4.78 ERA) -- who lasted just four innings, allowing four hits, four walks and three runs -- is in jeopardy of losing his rotation spot to Henderson Alvarez, who is set to come off the disabled list next week. The other members of the Marlins' rotation --- Jose Fernandez, Jacob Turner, Nathan Eovaldi and Nolasco - are most solid in their status, at least until the latter gets traded.
- Sports & Recreation
- Miami Marlins
- Minnesota Twins
- Placido Polanco
- Jeff Mathis