MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Marlins are the only team in the NL East that hasn’t spent a day in first place this season.
They’re also the only NL East team to score more runs than they’ve allowed this season.
Adam Duvall hit his fifth home run and finished with four RBIs, Miguel Rojas scored three times and five Miami pitchers scattered five hits to lead the Marlins over the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-0 on Wednesday night.
Miami has now outscored opponents by 18 runs this season. That plus-18 differential has swelled in the first two games of this series, which began with 9-3 Miami victory.
“The teams every year that end up winning their divisions are usually pretty good plus on on that side,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Obviously, we haven’t been like a club that’s going out and taking off offensively …. but I think this machine really hasn’t gotten rolling yet.”
Rojas was 2 for 3 and drove in two runs for Miami (13-16). Duvall hit a three-run homer in a four-run second off Luke Weaver (1-3), Duvall’s first home run in 19 games, and the Marlins were up 6-0 after two innings.
“I started seeing the ball a little bit better and making some better swings,” said Duvall, whose average has climbed 16 points — albeit to .196 — in his last two games. “But today felt really good.”
Jordan Holloway (1-0), the second Marlins pitcher in a bullpen game, allowed two hits and struck out three in three innings. Ross Detwiler opened by striking out the side in the first and retired all six batters he faced.
Weaver was tagged for six runs and six hits in four innings. He pointed to his last two innings Wednesday — six up, six down — as a possible springboard.
“Feels like there’s something that’s getting in the way of some success,” Weaver said.
Nick Ahmed had two hits and reached base three times. Arizona had homered in 15 straight games, the longest streak in the majors this season.
“That wasn’t exactly the way we drew it up,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I think falling behind early put a little extra pressure on us.”
Anthony Bender made his major league debut for the Marlins in the eighth, one day the contract of the 26-year-old right-hander was selected from Triple-A Jacksonville. Bender had never appeared in a game above the Double-A level before Wednesday and spent last season with the independent Milwaukee Milkmen.
He struck out two and allowed one hit.
“It’s been quite the adventure and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Bender said. “You know, it just makes it that much more special. This is what you wait for once you sign and get drafted.”
Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly, who went on the injured list Tuesday for reasons the team did not disclose, is expected to make his next start in New York against the Mets on Saturday or Sunday. Kelly is 2-2 with a 5.79 ERA this season.
HR MEANS WIN
The Marlins improved to 11-6 in games when they hit at least one home run. They’re 2-10 when they don’t homer. Miami has hit at least one home run in 10 of its last 11 games; the last time it had a stretch like that was when it homered in 12 of the final 13 contests of the 2019 season.
Arizona was shut out for the fourth time this season, all on the road. It was Miami’s fourth shutout of 2021.
Arizona LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-2, 5.58) goes against Miami RHP Pablo López (0-2, 2.34) in the series finale. Bumgarner was 0-2 with an 11.20 ERA and opponents were hitting .367 off him in his first three starts of 2021; in the three starts since, he’s 3-0 with an 1.06 ERA and batters have hit .107.
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