MIAMI (AP)Jorge Soler and Miguel Rojas homered and the Miami Marlins won their sixth straight game, beating the Seattle Mariners 8-6 Friday night.
Soler’s homer in the first inning bounced off a column behind the left-center field pavilion and was measured at 468 feet, the third-longest in the major leagues this season.
”When I made contact, it felt as if I didn’t hit anything,” Soler said in Spanish. ”Then, when I saw it in the air, I said, `Wow that one is gone.”’
Jesus Sanchez’s two-run single with the bases loaded against Mariners starter Matt Brash capped a four-run second inning. Jesus Aguilar and Jacob Stallings also had RBI singles that stretched the Marlins’ lead to 6-3.
Miami increased its lead on Rojas’ two-run homer in the third. A day after getting hit in the jaw with a pitch against Washington starter Patrick Corbin, Rojas powered a fastball from Mariners’ reliever Matthew Festa over the wall in left for his first homer of the season.
”I didn’t feel anything because I put everything in God’s hands,” Rojas said of Thursday’s scare. ”Thankfully, nothing happened to me because I was wearing the protective flap. I didn’t feel any discomfort with Corbin hitting me. I feel like I found something on my swing and I was really excited to go out there.”
Marlins starter Elieser Hernandez settled down after a difficult second and limited Seattle to three runs over five innings. Hernandez (2-1) scattered five hits, struck out five and walked one.
”It’s always nice to win, right?” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. ”It just breeds confidence. It’s a good feeling and something you want to keep doing. Guys have worked hard. We know it’s early and there’s a long way to go and all that, but it’s paying off now.”
Seattle rallied with three runs in the ninth on Jarred Kelenic’s one-out RBI double against reliever Shawn Armstrong. Anthony Bender relieved Armstrong and allowed Luis Torrens’ sacrifice fly and Adam Frazier’s run-scoring single before retiring Ty France on a force out for his fifth save.
”I give our guys credit for not quitting, we got the tying run to the plate,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. ”It’s good to see their bullpen a little bit and hopefully it helps us out the rest of the series.”
Brash (1-2) was lifted after two innings. The rookie right-hander allowed six runs, seven hits, struck out three and walked two in his fourth major league start.
”I will be back and be better,” Brash said. ”It is a learning experience every day here. I shook it off, but I let that second inning spiral out of control and I cannot let that happen. I’ll work on some stuff in the bullpen this week and get right back at it.”
The Mariners quickly erased a two-run deficit on Torrens’ bases clearing double for a 3-2 advantage in the second.
Mitch Haniger singled to lead off the second in his return from the injured list, but was replaced by pinch runner Abraham Torro because of a right ankle sprain. Servais said Haniger will undergo an MRI Saturday. Haniger missed 11 games after entering COVID protocols and was reactivated Friday.
The Mariners designated RHP Matt Koch for assignment. Koch had four relief appearances in his one-month stint with the club.
RARE MIAMI APPEARANCE
Despite 25 years of interleague play, the Mariners’ visits to Miami have been scarce. The current three-game series is Seattle’s first in Miami since 2014, and the only other visit against the NL club was another three-game set in 2005.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (left forearm contusion) threw a bullpen session Friday and is scheduled to make his next start against Houston on Monday.
Marlins: RHP Dylan Floro (right rotator cuff tendinitis) is scheduled to make a relief appearance Saturday at Triple-A Jacksonville.
LHP Robbie Ray (2-1, 3.91) will start the middle game of the series for the Mariners on Saturday, while the Marlins will go with LHP Jesus Luzardo (1-1, 3.77).
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