Jorge Soler’s homer helps Marlins end losing streak, gain ground in wild-card race
By MITCH STACY
CINCINNATI — Jorge Soler hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and the Miami Marlins rallied for a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds in a matchup of NL wild-card contenders on Tuesday night.
Soler connected on a four-seam fastball from reliever Lucas Sims (3-3), sending it just out of the reach of leaping center fielder TJ Friedl. The Marlins held on to snap a five-game skid and move within one-half game of the Reds for the final wild-card spot. Cincinnati has lost seven of eight.
Miami starter Braxton Garrett (6-3) gave up two runs and six hits in six innings with three strikeouts.
Pinch-hitter Joey Votto drew a two-out walk from David Robertson in the ninth, but the reliever — acquired from the New York Mets last month — struck out Christian Encarnacion-Strand to earn his second save with Miami and 16th overall.
Miami went ahead in the second inning on two-out doubles by Jake Burger and Joey Wendle. Reds starter Luke Weaver allowed another hit and walked the bases full but got out of the jam by inducing a grounder from Nick Fortes.
Friedl drove in the Reds’ first run with a double in the second. In the fifth, Stuart Fairchild turned a blooper into a triple and scored on the errant throw home to put the Reds ahead 2-1.
Weaver allowed one run and five hits with six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
Fairchild made something out of almost nothing to put the Reds ahead in the fifth. His blooper down the right-field line bounced past Marlins right fielder Jesús Sánchez. By the time Sánchez retrieved the ball from the corner and got it in, the speedy Fairchild was rounding third at full speed and ran through the stop sign of third-base coach J.R. House. He scored thanks to an offline throw to the plate by second baseman Luis Arraez. It was scored a triple and an error, but Fairchild still got to wear the Viking-style helmet normally reserved for dugout home run celebrations.
LOTS OF Ks
Elly De La Cruz is exciting to watch on base paths but lately has a strikeout problem. The Reds rookie has struck out at least once in each of the last 15 games. He was 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts Tuesday and has 81 this season.
Marlins: CF Jazz Chisholm Jr. was back in the starting lineup after an MRI showed no structural damage to his right hamstring. Chisholm has missed 21 games with the injury. He had a pinch-hit homer off reliever Ian Gibaut in Miami’s 5-2 loss to the Reds on Monday night.
Reds: RHP Hunter Greene (hip soreness) is scheduled to return Aug. 28, providing a boost to the Reds’ current four-man starting rotation. Out since June 17, he threw in the bullpen before the game. … 2B Jonathan India, on the injured list since July 30 with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, took batting practice Tuesday. He is expected to return to the lineup Friday.
Marlins RHP Johnny Cueto (0-3, 5.32 ERA) is the scheduled starter against Reds RHP Graham Ashcraft (6-7, 5.18) in Wednesday’s finale of the three-game series.