Justin Bour giving his all during a Spring Training game this weekend. Photo Courtesy: Miami Marlins.
By Roger Hoover / Jacksonville Suns
The Miami Marlins went 1-2-1 in games over the past weekend in Grapefruit League play.
Friday saw the Marlins have their first split-squad day of the spring. At home in Jupiter, the Marlins defeated the Washington Nationals 5-4, with Justin Maxwell hitting a walkoff three-run homer to give Miami its first Spring Training win. Up I-95 in Port St. Lucie, the Marlins and Mets played to a 4-4 tie, which isn’t uncommon during Spring Training. Former Sun Kenny Wilson broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth with an RBI single that gave the Marlins a 4-3 lead. Fellow 2015 Sun Craig Stem took the blown save, allowing the Mets tying run to score in the bottom of the ninth.
On Saturday, the Marlins fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 at Roger Dean Stadium. Former Sun Raudel Lazo took the loss, allowing a pair of unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning.
Yesterday the Marlins fell in Lakeland to the Detroit Tigers 9-2. 2015 Sun Jake Esch was the only former Sun that pitched in the game, allowing three runs (all earned) on three hits with a pair of walks and a strikeout. No former Suns recorded a hit in the game, but the Marlins got multi-hit efforts from Justin Bour (2-for-3, RBI) and Cole Gillespie (2-for-2, RBI).
Today marks one of the most anticipated Grapefruit League games of the spring for the Marlins, as Jose Fernandez makes his 2016 debut against the Washington Nationals in Viera.
Fernandez, who pitched with the Suns as part of a rehab assignment last June, aims to be fully healthy this year after missing considerable time in 2014 and 2015, following his brilliant 2013 season that saw him win the National League Rookie of the Year award.
This is a busy stretch for the Marlins, who will not have another off day until next Monday, March 14. This week the Marlins will face the Nationals, New York Yankees, Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and then the Mets before the off day.
In Jacksonville, it was a busy weekend for the Suns staff who hosted the first gameday staff job fair on Saturday. The Suns will continue to round out their staff with another job fair tomorrow March 8 (4 p.m. – 7 p.m.) at the Baseball Grounds.
Fans can also register for this Thursday’s National Anthem auditions that will be held at the Baseball Grounds. Interested individuals and groups may schedule an audition time by completing a registration form – available at www.jaxsuns.com – and emailing it to Promotions Manager Devin Jones at email@example.com or faxing to 904-358-2845.
Across the street at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, the South Carolina Gamecocks won the 2016 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, topping Mississippi State in the title game yesterday afternoon. It’s an incredible run for Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks, who went 16-0 against SEC opponents in the regular season, then waltzed to the tournament title here in Jacksonville.
Time for this week’s #MarlinsMonday headlines, we’re now less than a month away from Suns Opening Day!
Marlins.com: Gordon reunites with childhood mentor
Marlins.com: Maturing Jose set for Monday’s spring debut
Marlins.com: Bour gets opportunity, hit off left-hander
Miami Herald: ‘Relief’for Marlins’ Jared Cosart in Spring debut
Miami Herald: Ichiro Suzuki’s T-shirts are big news in Japan
Sun Sentinel: Marlins’ Kyle Barraclough ready to step into larger role
Sun Sentinel: Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto looking to build on breakout season
Yahoo! Big League Stew: Chase Utley’s two-game suspension for takeout slide dropped by MLB
Pioneer Press: Twins’ Miguel Sano discusses death of infant daughter
Ballpark Digest: Blue Wahoos Unveil Pink Foul Poles
Fox Sports: Rays ace Chris Archer owes his success to one simple thing
The New York Times: Being Paid to Play Basketball, Pat Connaughton Is Dreaming of Diamonds