Manager Jack McKeon said “maybe LoGo can bring us some good luck” before the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. Of course, McKeon was referring to LoMo, Logan Morrison, who had just rejoined the Marlins after being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans following a 10-day demotion.
“We’ve been looking for that key hit now for two weeks, so hopefully [Morrison] can supply that,” McKeon said.
Morrison might not have delivered the biggest hit of Florida’s 6-5 victory in game one, but he did play a big role at making the Marlins’ offense “LoGo.” Morrison, who was 2 for 4 with two runs scored, contributed to each of Florida’s three-run frames and helped the Fish snap their six-game losing streak. Morrison put Florida on the board in the fourth with a solo home run and singled through the hole on the right side in the eighth.
“I was able to get some quality pitches to hit and didn’t miss the barrel, so that was good,” Morrison said. “It means a lot, man. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, what jersey I have on, that’s what I want to do: I want to contribute to the win, help the team win. I was happy for that.”
With the exception of a fourth-inning rally, the Marlins’ offense largely was quieted by Homer Bailey throughout game one. Bailey retired the last eight batters he faced and handed the ball to the Reds’ bullpen with a 3-3 tie.
But Florida was suddenly injected with a spark in the eighth when Emilio Bonifacio smoked a triple over Drew Stubbs’ head in centerfield. Omar Infante followed with a go-ahead single, and Greg Dobbs’ double down the right-field line scored both Infante and Morrison.
“It was a different ballclub with LoMo in there,” McKeon said. “He's a threat, he did a great job. He played hard. It was a different attitude. The whole energy level was different.”
Marlins’ starter Javier Vazquez pitched seven strong innings, allowing three runs on six hits while whiffing a season-high 11 batters — all swinging. It was Vazquez’s 43rd career double-digit-strikeout effort and his third of the season. He also passed Don Drysdale for 30th on the all-time strikeout list with 2,487 Ks.
Joey Votto, the 2010 National League MVP, launched an opposite field two-run home run in the third to give the Reds an early 2-0 lead.
Votto’s 23rd long ball of the season scored Bailey, who had doubled to right field. But before Bailey reached base, he appeared to offer at Vazquez’s offspeed pitch in the dirt. After Bailey’s extra-base hit dropped behind Mike Stanton, argued the call with the first-base Todd Tichenor, who ejected the manager for disputing the check-swing appeal play. It was the first time McKeon has been tossed this season.
Two batters after Morrison’s home run in the fourth, Stanton doubled and Jose Lopez laced a line-drive homer to The Bermuda Triangle to give Florida a 3-2 lead.
Cincinnati evened the score at 3 in the fifth. Vazquez walked former Marlin Edgar Renteria, who was sacrificed to second by Bailey, and then Brandon Phillips hit an RBI double to left.
Todd Frazier, the former Toms River (N.J.) hero who led “The Beast of the East” to the Little League World Series in 1998, went 2 for 4 with a double and home run.
Frazier’s long ball came in the ninth off reliever Edward Mujica, who was filling in for closer Leo Nuñez. After Mujica walked Yonder Alonso, bench coach Brandon Hyde motioned for Steve Cishek, who got two quick outs to shut the door on Cincinnati’s comeback and earn the second save of his career.
Vazquez took a no decision while reliever Ryan Webb earned the win by striking out the only batter he faced.
“That eighth inning went a long way for us,” Morrison said. “We needed every single run because they can swing it.”
Alonso, the Miami native and former University of Miami star, was held out of Dusty Baker’s starting lineup one night after knocking in four runs.
“It was good to get a win,” McKeon said. “We’re trying to win both of these.”
The second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader started at 7:24 p.m.
GAME TWO LINEUPS:
Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, ss; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Mike Stanton, rf; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6.Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 7. Bryan Petersen, cf; 8. Brett Hayes, c; 9. Chris Volstad, p
Reds: 1. Brandon Phillips, 2b; 2. Fred Lewis, lf; 3. Joey Votto, 1b; 4. Jay Bruce, rf; 5. Miguel Cairo, 3b; 6. Drew Stubbs, cf; 7. Ryan Hanigan, c; 8. Paul Janish, ss; 9. Bronson Arroto, p
-- Matt Forman