Marlins break long drought with 8-point game

PITTSBURGH — A 34-inning scoreless streak is tough for any team, but the Marlins decided to put that into perspective ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Pirates.

As Miguel Rojas spoke to the media after an 8-1 victory at PNC Park, the melody of Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’, the hit song from the hit movie ‘Titanic’, rose through the air . Rojas said the team played the emotional tune before their game as an important reminder.

“Scoring a point is not as difficult as what the Titanic people went through,” he said.

When presented in this way, there is no denying that it is to correct. Still, the Marlins pushed their scoreless streak on offense to 37 innings, tying a franchise record for longest streak without a run, and things were starting to get desperate.

But like Jack saving Rose in “Titanic,” Rojas brought the Marlins’ brawling offense to life.

To start the fourth, Brian Anderson reached base on a grounder off the hand of Pirates second baseman Diego Castillo, then Avisaíl García blooped a single – both on the first pitch.

Rojas wasted no time getting on set. He threw a high curveball on former teammate Zach Thompson’s first pitch and began his celebration, as he claims he still remembered how lucky he was to be in that situation.

“I think if I was fighting for my life in that boat in the song ‘Titanic,’ I feel like it could have been worse than not scoring for 37 innings,” Rojas said. “So that was my mentality in that at-bat.”

When the ball hit the grass in left field, Rojas went wild as if he had reached a milestone or helped clinch a playoff spot. But after the team‘s scoring drought last week, everyone would be celebrating like him.

“We score the run and I pitch,” said Braxton Garrett, who pitched six innings and allowed one run, “and I don’t want to get too excited and get away with it, but I couldn’t help but get [excited].”

Just as important, the Marlins didn’t go down after the first run. García scored on a wild pitch, Jorge Soler hit Rojas on a groundout, and Jesus Sánchez scored after walking on Joey Wendle’s two-hit, two-out hit.

The last time the Marlins scored four or more runs in an inning was exactly a month ago, in the third period of their 7-4 win over the Rockies on June 22.

“It was nice to see some sort of relief from everyone,” Rojas said, “because we know we underperformed, especially before the all-star break. We didn’t want to finish the first half like that. We are responsible for the way we swing.

García broke another sluggish record by the Marlins offense. Miami had not hit a home run in its previous nine games on Friday, tying the franchise record set twice, most recently from April 6-15, 2019.

In the seventh inning, García fired two curveballs into the dirt to enter a batter’s count and set up a four-seam fastball in the area which he squared and dropped into the right field stands. .

“It’s good to eliminate that home run as well, because that’s another thing we write about,” manager Don Mattingly said. “I think it all falls into place when you finally break that little slump or that little streak that you’re in. It feels lighter all of a sudden, and guys loosen up a bit.”

With on-base and base-stealing threats like Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Jon Berti on the IL — and it’ll be a long time for Chisholm, who was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back on Friday — Miami’s lineup is in need of a boost. But from near, far, wherever they are in the standings, Rojas said the Marlins are confident they have the ingredients to make a Wild Card push.

The attack will be hoping they have only reached the tip of the iceberg of their potential to get back on track, and as Dion’s voice rippled through the club after the win, Rojas could feel her centering the group for the work to come.

“It already motivates us for tomorrow,” Rojas said. “Thinking about the movie and thinking about being in that situation, it could have been worse.”

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