Hand Continues Pitching Well, Marlins Beat Astros
Jeff Mathis Leads Offense In Second Straight Victory
The Marlins were able to win their fifth game in their last six contests tonight against the Astros by a final score of 2-0.
Brad Hand got the start in this one and pitched 7 1/3 scoreless frames allowing three hits, two walks and striking out four Astros' batters.
With this start in the books, Hand is now 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in five starts since returning to the rotation (eight earned runs in 29 2/3 innings.
Hechavarria gave Marlins fans something to get excited about right off the bat as he retired MLB's hit leader on this great defensive play:
The Astros didn't offer much at the plate in this one, and when they tried to get a runner in scoring position in the third with Jose Altuve attempting to steal second base, Mathis said otherwise.
Altuve was originally called safe at second but Mike Redmond would challenge this one and win, so Altuve would return to the dugout.
The Marlins collected eleven hits on the night but scored just two runs, both coming thanks to a clutch hit from an unlikely suitor.
The runs came in the top half of the seventh inning, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia got things started after reaching base with one thanks to a fielding error center fielder Enrique Hernandez and advanced to second on a passed ball by Astros' catcher Jason Castro.
Two batters later Adeiny Hechavarria singled on a ground ball to short to advance Saltalamacchia to third, and Jeff Mathis brought both baserunners home on a double down the left field line, just his third on the season.
Mathis had just six RBIs in his first 41 games this season, and he collected two in one at-bat tonight.
After that, the Marlins bullpen shut down the rest of the game as Bryan Morris recorded the final two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and Steve Cishek recorded his 25th save on the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts.
With the win, Miami is now 49-53 on the season and remain eight games back of the victorious Nats for first place in the division. They are a bit closer in the wildcard race, though, as they sit six games back of the Braves/Pirates for the National League's second wildcard spot.
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