Miami offense helps salvage split with Twins

Joe Oberle, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


MINNEAPOLIS -- The Miami Marlins hit the ball early and often against the Minnesota Twins to take the second game of a frozen doubleheader 8-5 on Tuesday night at Target Field.
After Miami's 4-3 loss in the opening game of the doubleheader, Marlins manager Mike Redmond decried his team's inability to score runs when it has gotten good pitching. But starter Ricky Nolasco gave him another good one in the nightcap, and this time the offense did its part.
"Ricky did a tremendous job," Redmond said. "He had to pitch out of some tough spots. He gave us the five innings that we needed and we had the lead, so we were able to use the bullpen the way we wanted to and pick up the win."
The Marlins pounded out nine hits (including four doubles) for five runs off Twins starter Mike Pelfrey, and they spotted Nolasco a 4-0 lead after two innings. Nolasco wobbled in the third, giving up three runs, but handed off to the bullpen after five innings (two earned runs and six hits, a walk and four strikeouts) with a 5-3 lead.
"That was fun. We had some great at-bats," Redmond said. "First off, all the guys, they really battled. These guys have been able to turn the page after some tough losses. We lost that first game and came out swinging the bats. We've been pretty resilient. I'm proud of guys for that. We keep fighting, keep battling and we knew we would eventually get it together and score some runs. Up and down the lines the bats were great."
Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos gave up two walks and a run in the sixth to bring the Twins within one, but Marlins hitters kept at it, tapping the Twins' bullpen for four more hits and two runs in the seventh to extend their lead. The Marlins finished the game with 16 hits.
"Every time it seemed like we would get a little closer to them they would score another couple runs," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We kept playing, but it just wasn't our night. "
Mike Dunn came on in relief of Ramos and shut down the Twins in order in the seventh, but he gave up a run and two hits and a sacrifice fly by Aaron Hicks in the eighth. Marlins closer Steve Cishek came on in the ninth and put the game on ice, collecting his second save.
The Marlins got to Pelfrey with three hits and three runs in the first.
With one out, Placido Polanco singled to center, Giancarlo Stanton walked and Greg Dobbs singled to fill the bases. Justin Ruggiano hit a grounder to short and the Twins' infielders couldn't turn it, allowing Polanco to score. Rob Brantley then followed with a two-run double off the center-field wall.
In the second, the Marlins loaded the bases again on three singles, and Joe Mahoney scored on Stanton's fielder's choice to third to extend the lead to 4-0.
"The game dragged -- not the pace you like," Gardenhire said. "(Pelfrey had) a lot of deep counts and lot of pitches early in the game. He was up (in the zone) and just couldn't quite put hitters away. He hung in there for as long as he could, but not a good enough performance for him."
The Twins got on the board in the third with two hits, a walk and a wild pitch to score Eduardo Escobar. Joe Mauer singled in another run, and Brian Dozier scored when Mahoney made an error on a grounder hit to him at first.
Stanton started the fifth with a double and Brantley scored him with his second double of the game. Redmond's request for more runs for his pitchers after the first game was answered in the second.
NOTES: Game-time temperature for the second game of the twin bill was 42 degrees. ... The Marlins have more wins (140) in interleague play than any other in the National League, but they came into the game 1-7 in interleague play since June 17, 2012. ... The Twins came in on a five-game winning streak -- their longest since June 30-July 3, 2012.