When the Miami Marlins visit the San Francisco Giants on Saturday for Game 2 of their season, watch out for the seekers.
The Marlins lost 6-5 in 10 innings on Friday, but don’t blame receiver Jacob Stallings. After being acquired in an offseason trade, Stallings was sensational on his Marlins debut, hitting a two-run homer, throwing an RBI single, picking a runner at second base and sending out a runner trying to steal.
San Francisco also had some great catches as rookie Joey Bart hit his first major league homer.
“I kind of grabbed it before the game and said, ‘Let’s do something special,'” Giants starter Logan Webb said of Bart, who replaces former Buster Posey. “He did it (well). I’m excited for him.
The Giants are also excited about southpaw Carlos Rodon, who signed a two-year, $44 million deal with San Francisco last month. He will start against Miami on Saturday.
Last year, Rodon threw a no-hitter, became an All-Star for the first time and finished fifth in voting for the American League’s Cy Young Award with the Chicago White Sox. Miami-born Rodon went 13-5 with a 2.37 ERA in 24 starts.
The key for Rodon, according to scouts, was to get in better shape ahead of the 2021 season. He threw his fastball at 97 mph and perfected the so-called “voodoo” slider.
When on, Rodon dominates the hitters. He struck out a career-high 12.6 batters in nine innings, and his walk rate (2.4) was also his best effort to date.
Miami will counter with right-hander Pablo Lopez, who has played his entire career with the Marlins. In four major league seasons, he is 18-21 with a 4.04 ERA.
Last year, in his fourth major league season, Lopez went 5-5 with a career-best 3.07 ERA in 20 starts.
Rodon and Lopez both suffered shoulder injuries, and it will be interesting to see how long they go on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are hoping to gain support from an offense that primarily included Stallings and second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. in Game 1.
Chisholm’s two-run homer into the opposite field in the top of the ninth inning gave the Marlins a 5-4 lead.
However, no Marlins player other than Stallings and Chisholm had RBI.
Besides Stallings, three players made their Marlins debut on Friday: left fielder Jorge Soler went 0 for 5, right fielder Avisail Garcia went 1 for 5 and third baseman Joey Wendle went 1 for 3 with a throwing error that leads to a Giants run.
Additionally, Miami remnants in the roster included shortstop Miguel Rojas, DH Jesus Aguilar and first baseman Garrett Cooper.
Both teams will be looking for more of their bullpen on Saturday.
San Francisco’s Camilo Doval missed a save opportunity in the top of the ninth inning, allowing three runs.
Miami’s Anthony Bender made a save late in the ninth, allowing a homer for Thairo Estrada.
“He beat me on the spot and figured it all out,” Bender said of Estrada.
Miami’s Anthony Bass took the loss allowing Austin Slater’s RBI double in the 10th inning.
–Field level media
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