Grapefruit League Opens With Loss for Marlins

The Marlins fell to the Cardinals on Thursday in the first game of the Grapefruit League

The Miami Marlins scored first but ended up on the losing side of a 4-3 game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.

The game was the first on the Grapefruit League schedule for both teams, and took place at Roger Dean Stadium which is the home venue of both squads. In this one, the Cardinals were the home team and protected their home field.

Marcell Ozuna got the scoring started for Miami with a first inning home run. The colossal blast was a welcome sight after Ozuna struggled mightily in 2015. The Marlins are clinging to hope that Ozuna will be able to turn things around, and this is a solid beginning for that thought process.

Ozuna wasn't done after the home run as he also doubled in his next at-bat. Batting out of the two-hole, Ozuna's day ended after the 2-2 game as he was replaced by Isaac Galloway. Ozuna has now been penciled into the two-spot in both of Miami's exhibition games as manager Don Mattingly tries some new ideas for 2016.

Roster hopeful Justin Maxwell also homered in the game for Miami. Maxwell is trying to break camp as a reserve outfielder after previously being considered one of the better prospects in MLB. While Maxwell has thus far failed to live up to expectations, he could end up being solid depth for the Marlins.

Making the start for Miami was Tom Koehler who is expected to be the third starter in the rotation this season. It was a rough beginning for the right-hander, but that is common in the early goings of spring training. Koehler was simply getting his work in and allowed three hits and two earned runs across 1.2 innings.

On Friday, the Marlins will split the roster up and play two games. One squad will head to Port St. Lucie for game against the New York Mets, while the other will host the Washington Nationals. 

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