DENVER | Miguel Rojas had a career-high four RBIs and the Miami Marlins held off Colorado 5-4 on Monday night, cutting the Rockies’ lead for the second NL wild card to 1 1/2 games over Milwaukee.
With five games remaining, the Rockies have lost six of eight and are clinging to a postseason spot as they seek their first playoff berth since 2009. Monday marked a missed opportunity to extend their advantage over the idle Brewers as well as St. Louis, which remained 2 1/2 games back after a 10-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs earlier in the night.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton went hitless in five at-bats and remained at 57 homers.
J.T. Realmuto had two hits and drove in a run for Miami. Odrisamer Despaigne (1-3) allowed two runs in six innings, improving to 3-0 with a 2.01 ERA in seven career appearances against the Rockies.
Colorado rallied from a 5-1 deficit but failed to get a big hit late.
After Gerardo Parra’s RBI groundout in the sixth and Jonathan Lucroy’s solo homer in the seventh, the Rockies loaded the bases with one out. Nolan Arenado hit a deep sacrifice fly to pull Colorado to 5-4 before Mark Reynolds fouled out to end the inning.
Kyle Barraclough walked Lucroy to start the ninth but recovered for his first major league save when Charlie Blackmon hit into a game-ending double play.
Arenado’s RBI was his 127th of the year, which surpassed Stanton (126) for the major league lead. Blackmon also drove in a run for the Rockies.
Earlier, the Marlins strung together five straight hits in a four-run fourth against starter Tyler Chatwood (8-14). Rojas capped the burst as he roped a three-run double that deflected off an outstretched Ian Desmond in left field to put Miami up 4-0.
Rain delayed the start by 26 minutes.
STANTON’S INCREDIBLE CATCH
Stanton kept the Rockies off the board with a run-saving catch in the third. The slugger raced toward the right-center wall, made a leaping catch, and held on despite sandwiching Christian Yelich into the wall. The two tumbled to the ground but immediately got to their feet, laughing as they jogged to the dugout.
Earlier in the inning, Lucroy was credited with a triple after Stanton dove and missed on his sharp liner, which rolled all the way to the corner.
Jose Fernandez, the late Miami ace who galvanized a city with a rocket arm and an illuminating personality, has been gone for a year now.
Monday marked the anniversary since Fernandez and two other passengers died in a boating accident off Miami Beach.
His former teammates were just a few of those who took to social media to pay tribute in his memory.
Stanton, posting a picture of himself with Fernandez on Instagram, wrote: “Still Glancing over my shoulder hoping to see you. You’ve given me a new perspective & motivation Missing you always! #JDF16”.
When asked about the anniversary before Monday’s game, Miami manager Don Mattingly said he’d always remember Fernandez’s bright smile and high energy.
The Marlins have worn a No. 16 patch on their jerseys throughout the season.
It was later revealed that Fernandez was driving when the boat struck a jetty at 65.7 mph. An autopsy found cocaine and alcohol in his system. He was 24.
Carlos Gonzalez (shoulder) pinch-hit in the ninth for the Rockies. The slugger has showed signs of breaking out of a season-long slump this month with five home runs and 13 RBI.
Marlins: RHP Jose Urena (14-6, 3.55) is 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four September starts. He stifled the Mets in his last outing, allowing two runs over eight innings.
Rockies: In three starts since coming back from knee surgery, LHP Tyler Anderson (5-6, 5.24) is 2-1 with a 1.72 ERA.