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Marlins edge Rockies, improve to 2-0

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- It's early -- very early.

Still, the Miami Marlins, the worst team in the National League last season at 62-100, can't help but feel that this year's product is much improved.

Tuesday night's game was a case in point. The Marlins snapped a tie with two sixth-inning runs and held on to defeat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 at Marlins Park.

The Marlins (2-0) continue their four-game, season-opening series Wednesday night when right-hander Henderson Alvarez faces Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles.

"This win kind of shows that we are a totally different team this year," Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos said.

Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi earned the win, allowing six hits, one walk and two runs in six innings.

Eovaldi, who has endured the worst run-support in the majors since 2011, was no doubt grateful to see his team put up four runs.

"It's a new season," Eovaldi said. "(The lack of runs is) in the past. Runs are going to come when they come."

Former Oakland A's left-hander Brett Anderson, making his Rockies debut, took the loss, allowing five hits, one walk and four runs (three earned) in six innings.

"I think it was a good outing for him (despite the loss)," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I thought he threw the ball well. We just didn't get the big hit late."

In the pivotal sixth, pinch hitter Reed Johnson doubled to right and advanced to third on a groundout. After a walk to second baseman Jeff Baker, Johnson scored on a fielder's choice groundout by right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who took second on a throwing error by second baseman DJ LeMahieu.

Stanton then stole third base and scored on third baseman Casey McGehee's single, giving the Marlins a 4-2 lead.

Colorado got one run in the eighth, opening the inning with consecutive doubles by right fielder Michael Cuddyer and left fielder Carlos Gonzalez off reliever Mike Dunn.

However, Dunn got shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to fly out and first baseman Justin Morneau to ground out. Ramos then came in, and after a walk, struck out third baseman Nolan Arenado looking, stranding Gonzalez at third.

Ramos got a strike swinging and a foul ball to set up the strikeout.

"It was a tough pitch," Arenado said of the third strike. "(Earlier in the at-bat), he gave me a couple of pitches to hit, and I missed them."

Marlins closer Steve Cishek, who had a career-high 34 saves last season, pitched the ninth for his first save of the year. He converted his 30th consecutive save chance.

The Marlins opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning. First baseman Garrett Jones started the rally with a one-out single, and he scored on catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia's double to the corner in left field. Jones might have been thrown out had Tulowitzki's low throw not gotten past catcher Wilin Rosario.

Miami tacked on its second run when Saltalamacchia advanced to third on center fielder Marcell Ozuna's infield single off Anderson's glove and scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

Colorado got on track in the fourth. Tulowitzki drew a one-out walk and scored when Gonzalez went with an outside pitch and drove it to right-center field for a double.

Gonzalez ran to third when Morneau's 75-foot pop fly fell for a single halfway between the pitcher's mound and second base. Gonzalez then scored on a sacrifice fly by Rosario, tying it 2-2.

"I kind of fell apart that inning," Eovaldi said. "On the bloop hit (by Morneau), I felt I should have kept going for it, but I pulled off for some reason."

Anderson got his first major league hit in the fifth, lining a double to left that glanced off the glove of diving left fielder Christian Yelich. However, Anderson was stranded at second.

Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he was pleased not only with the win but how it happened.

"We talked about getting on the other end of those one-run games," said Redmond, whose team got off to a 14-41 start last season. "It got hairy there (in the eighth), but we were able to make our pitches. (Ramos) got a big out. It was fun."

NOTES: Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki leads the majors with 122 homers since 2009. ... The Marlins have the youngest rotation and the youngest pitching staff in the majors. Their overall roster is the third youngest behind the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves. ... The Rockies have dominated the race for batting titles the past 20 years, winning eight times, including three by Larry Walker (1998, 1999, 2001). The other winners were Andres Galarraga in 1993, Todd Helton in 2000, Matt Holliday in 2007, Carlos Gonzalez in 2010 and Michael Cuddyer in 2013. ... From 2011 to now, Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton is fourth among major league outfielders in slugging percentage. Gonzalez is fifth.

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