Caleb Smith pounds Padres in Marlins win
The Miami Marlins brought out the teal during their 25th anniversary weekend and starting pitcher Caleb Smith turned in a career performance, leading the Fighting Fish to a 4-0 win on Friday.
Smith entered the game leading all National League rookie pitchers in strikeouts with 74, ahead of Cincinnati Reds starter Tyler Mahle (67). He added five more in 5.1 shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 3.60.
Smith also tied Dontrelle Willis and Scott Olsen with the most strikeouts among Marlins rookies before the All-Star Break.
“Definitely more proud of that today,” Smith said on his first hit.
The Marlins continued to score runs through unconventional means. Third baseman Yadiel Rivera drew a walk with the bases loaded in the fifth inning to make it 3-0 and catcher JT Realmuto hit safely on a fielder’s choice in the sixth inning to score Starlin Castro and make it a 4-0 game.
Brad Zeigler came in for Smith at the top of the sixth inning with two Padres on base and immediately got Cory Spangenberg to ground into a double-play to get out of the jam.
“I think Ziegler deserves the win tonight,” Smith said. “He came in and saved me. He did a great job.”
Zeigler, Drew Steckenrider and Kyle Barraclough combined for five strikeouts in the final three innings.
The Padres won the last series against the Marlins last week in San Diego. Things change quickly once the Marlins brought the series to their park.
“You see a team the second time almost back-to-back and it’s interesting to see the adjustments each team makes,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Their guy (Eric Lauer) threw the ball better against us tonight than he did, really good I thought, but Caleb stayed the same — throwing zeroes, got a big hit.”