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Marlins Park trims beer prices, create Happy Hour; Alvarez's throw bothers Baker, plus other notes

In case you didn't already know, Marlins Park has the most expensive beer in baseball this season, according to a report done last month by BusinessInsider.com.

For $8 a pop fans get 16 ounces of their favorite domestic beer inside the stadium. Well, starting Friday fans can save a few bucks if they walk a little further from the concession stand and over to a nearby bar inside the stadium.

The Marlins announced Thursday their trimming their small domestic beers at bars to $6. If fans go to the regular concessions it will still cost them $8 for a beer.

The Marlins are also debuting a special Happy Hour at the Budweiser Bow Tie Bar on Fridays where beers cost $4 between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

"We're always taking a look at all our concessions -- what we offer, the size of our offerings, the price of our offerings," team president David Samson said. "We felt there were two opportunities with beer we wanted to do. We wanted to see if we could get a lower price beer, which we got. And we wanted to see if we could do a happy hour -- because we want people to get out here before the game starts."

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians sell the cheapest beer in the majors at $4.

The Los Angeles Angels sell the cheapest 16-ounce beer in baseball for $4.75.

The Boston Red Sox sell a 12-ounce beer for $7.75.


The Marlins have the best home record in baseball this season at 19-6 -- the best home start in franchise history. And it's paying dividends at the gate.

This year, Marlins Park is drawing an average of 21,360. That's still the worst in the National League. But it's better than six other American League teams (Astros, Royals, A's, White Sox, Rays and Indians) and 24th overall. Last year, the Marlins drew 19,584 on average. The only team worse were the Rays (18,645).

Samson said the Marlins are "where we thought we would be" in terms of attendance.

"I think we're playing better," Samson said. "I think people are getting more used to getting here. I think they're having a better time when they're here. I think they're realizing coming to Marlins Park is both easy, fun and affordable. All those things take time to build up. And the team is getting better.

Of course, the effect of losing staff ace and the Cuban-born Jose Fernandez has yet to really be measured. But it should be noted the three most highly attended games at Marlins Park this season were Fernandez starts. Those were: Opening night, 37,116; April 5 vs. Padres, 35,188; May 4 vs. Dodger, 30,145.

"He's one of 25. We love him. We're sorry. We want him back. He's a big part of the team. But guess what? It's part of the game," Samson said of the injury. "There's still a season to be played."


Marlins utility man Jeff Baker used the word "foolish" on Friday to describe the throw pitcher Henderson Alvarez made to him at first base that pulled Baker off the bag and got him hurt in Thursday's 4-3 win over the Phillies.

Baker bruised his right shoulder after he collided with Domonic Brown, who hit a hard comebacker to the mound Alvarez stopped easily but took his sweet time throwing over to the bag for the putout. 

"We lucked out he wasn't running as hard or he could have separated my shoulder," said Baker, who was still expected to be available to pinch hit for the Marlins Friday.

"That can't happen. You can't pimp a ground ball and then fire it over to first. You have to go after it."

Marlins manager Mike Redmond agreed.

"I think we got to do a better job fielding the ball and getting rid of it," Redmond said. "It should never come to that -- that that's a close a play. Nobody should get hurt on a comebacker. Henderson obviously understands that and hopefully that will be it."

> Redmond said second baseman Rafael Furcal (hamstring, groin) is on pace to start playing in extended spring training games on Monday. Redmond again cautioned Furcal is a long way off from returning to the Marlins.

> Redmond wasn't as surprised as reliever Chris Hatcher was to see the 29-year old reliever get called back to the big leagues on Thursday.

"He's been consistent," Redmond said. "We saw some improvement -- a lot of improvement -- in spring training. As coaches and managers you always try to see how a guy responds when something like that happens. You take him off the [40-man] roster and see what he's made of. Is he going to continue to get better and improve and do the things consistently at a big league level? I think we all see he has. He wasn't going to let being taken off the roster affect him. He went down there, worked hard and you saw his numbers and how consistent he's been."

> Marlins top prospect Andrew Heaney made his Triple A debut on Thursday and pitched well, striking out seven and giving up just one earned run on seven hits over five innings. The left-hander took a hard grounder to the shin in his final inning, but was fine according to Redmond. He threw 84 pitches and 56 went for strikes.

Although most top prospects nowadays make the leap to the big leagues straight from Double A, the Marlins wanted Heaney to face some more experienced hitters Redmond said. 

"I haven't been to Triple A in a long time, but I know there's still a lot of good Triple A hitters, more experienced hitters," Redmond said. "Although I think they can make the jump from Double A to the big leagues, I think that experience for pitchers... is pretty important."

"I think when you get to a level and everyone feels you've accomplished what you've needed to accomplish you move them to the next level. I think he was there. Get him to Triple A see how he adjusts to Triple A hitters and we'll see where he's at down the road."

> Thursday's eighth inning meltdown by Mike Dunn ended a nice run for the left-hander, who had tossed 9 2/3 scoreless innings since April 23rd. The fact the Marlins were able to rally and still get the win made Dunn, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Friday, feel a little better.

"I was sitting in [the clubhouse] and I was pretty pissed," Dunn said. "To get the walk off win it takes a little bit of that away from you. You're still mad, but the team won. I still look at it like wins are what it's all about for the team. I feel like if I'm sitting in here pouting it's kind of selfish for me because I didn't do my job. Because it's a team sport. It definitely made it a little bit easier to sleep last night."

Eighth inning meltdowns were a problem for the Marlins and the bullpen last month, but the team had been doing better. Asked if he's thought about bringing closer Steve Cishek earlier into games, Redmond made it pretty clear he prefers not to.

"We can't ask our closer to do more than everyone else's share," Redmond said. "He's got to continue keep doing what he's doing. At the end of the day we've got to be able to bridge that gap with the guys we have and get the ball to him to close games."


> Brewers (28-20): 1. Jean Segura SS, 2. Scooter Gennett 2B, 3. Jonathan Lucroy C, 4. Carlos Gomez CF, 5. Mark Reynolds 3B, 6. Lyle Overbay 1B, 7. Khris Davis LF, 8. Logan Schafer LF, 9. Marco Estrada RHP.

> Marlins (25-23): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Derek Dietrich 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 7. Marcell Ozuna CF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Tom Koehler RHP.