The Miami Marlins will host the Pittsburgh Pirates in Puerto Rico next May for a pair of games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
The games will take place from May 30-31 and are part of a four-game series between the teams. The Marlins and Pirates will travel to Miami following these two games for another two at Marlins Park.
The games in Puerto Rico will be in celebration of Roberto Clemente Day which is May 31st. The Hall of Famer who tragically passed away in 1972 had exactly 3,000 hits as a member of the Pirates. Clemente who had his #21 retired by Pittsburgh was born in Puerto Rico.
The two-game series marks a return to Puerto Rico for the Marlins. Back in 2010, the then Florida Marlins acted as the home team against the New York Mets. The three-game series was referred to as the "San Juan Series" at the time. Since these games, Major League Baseball has not returned to the island for regular season contests.
The 2010 series featured a homecoming for Edwin Rodriguez who managed the Marlins at the time. Owner Jeffrey Loria named Rodriguez the manager for the remainder of the season during the series in Puerto Rico. Rodriguez would go on to manage Miami for part of the 2011 season as well before resigning.
Beyond the excitement of playing in a new atmosphere which is sure to be electric, these two games could come at a critical time for Miami. The team will be roughly two months into its schedule under new manager Don Mattingly. After a disappointing 2015 season, it is important that the Marlins get off to a quick start with their new skipper.
After returning home for the completion of this four-game series, the Marlins will host the Mets before going on an extended road trip.