Jarrod Saltalamacchia went deep for the first time as a Miami Marlin on Tuesday to help his team top the Minnesota Twins 3-1.
Saltalamacchia's blast came in the fourth inning to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead and it was only the second hit of the spring for the new Miami backstop. Off to a relatively slow start in the Grapefruit League, this was the best day yet for Saltalamacchia, who also walked and scored twice.
Thus far, the veteran has not been asked to start on back-to-back days which is the norm early on in the spring. It's likely that will change in about a week or so however as Saltalamacchia looks to build up stamina for the season.
Christian Yelich was one of several members of the expected everyday lineup that started in the game and had a rough go at it, going 0-3 with a pair of strikeouts. The young leftfielder remains hitless in the spring but has walked twice. Giancarlo Stanton also started and went 1-3 with a single. Adeiny Hechavarria, who rounded out the expected starters in the lineup, went 1-3 with a single for his second hit of the exhibition campaign.
The story for Miami in this one was defense, however, as the team had a total of five errors including one from Saltalamacchia on a pickoff play. Hechavarria, Steve Cishek, Brian Bogusevic, and Austin Nola committed the other errors. It was the first error of the spring for all except Nola who now has two. Nola is a non-roster invitee who was playing second base in this one. It's likely he along with Hechavarria will see some extra time with infield coach Perry Hill in the coming days as the veteran coach emphasizes the importance of limiting opponents to 27 outs.
Pitching-wise for Miami in this one, it was rotation hopeful Tom Koehler who got the ball to start. Koehler lasted two innings, allowing a run on three hits before giving way to a long list of relievers. Of note was Cishek who was credited with the win in what was his second Grapefruit League appearance. The closer has hurled two scoreless innings thus far and has struck out a pair.
Jose Fernandez will make his second start of the spring on Wednesday when the Marlins take on the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie.