MIAMI -- The Marlins capped one of their most agonizing homestands in years with a 5-2 victory over the Orioles on Sunday, which enabled them to take two of three in the series at Marlins Park. Miami went 2-8 on its homestand, and went through a managerial change.
"Wins are like donuts, you like them so much you want to keep eating them," Miami manager Dan Jennings said after the team's first series win since taking two of three from the Phillies May 1-3.
After both teams exhausted their bullpens on Saturday night, Sunday's game came down to which starter would step up early. It was Koehler who set the tone by not allowing a baserunner or a hit until the fifth inning.
Gonzalez was chased after four-plus innings, allowing a season-high five runs and 10 hits. In the fifth, Prado fouled off five straight full-count pitches, and on the 12th pitch of the at-bat, he belted his third homer. According to Statcast™, the drive was tracked at 416 feet.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Intentional walk backfires: With two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Orioles manager Buck Showalter opted to intentionally walk Dee Gordon to load the bases with two outs. However, the move backfired when Marcell Ozuna notched a two-RBI single off Gonzalez to put the Marlins ahead 4-0.
Koehler keeps rolling: While the Marlins scored some early runs, Koehler shut down the Orioles. The right-hander was perfect through four innings before allowing a one-out walk in the fifth to Chris Davis. Everth Cabrera followed with Baltimore's first hit, a single, but it came with his team trailing by four. More >
Helping Hand: The Orioles threatened to get back into the game in the seventh inning, loading the bases with one out off Koehler. With the Marlins' starter at 106 pitches, he was lifted for lefty Brad Hand. Baltimore pinch-hit Steve Pearce, who bounced a hot grounder to third. Miami was able to turn an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play, retaining a 5-1 advantage.
"Brad over his last three or four outings, has been taking big steps forward," Jennings said. "We knew they had Pearce on the bench and that would probably be the move that they would make. You have to put some guys in situations and give them a chance to be successful. Then they can grow confidence. I think you're seeing that with Brad right now in a big way."
Squandered late-inning chances: The Orioles entered the eighth trailing 5-1 and loaded the bases twice in the inning. With one out, Davis grounded out to first to score a run. Then with two outs, Marlins reliever Sam Dyson got Ryan Lavarnway to ground out to second base as the bags were left full and Miami escaped with a 5-2 lead.
"They pitched well. I'll give them that credit," Showalter said. "And we haven't been swinging the bats well. … You talk about them pitching well and us not swinging well, you get what you got." More >
"It's big. We have some positive energy going on the road. That's a really good lineup and a really good team, so to be able to take two out of three is huge." -- Koehler
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With his pinch-hit single in the eighth inning, Ichiro Suzuki collected career-hit No. 2,876, tying him with Hall of Famer Mel Ott for 37th since 1900, recognized as the start of the game's modern era.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: The Orioles head home to open a three-game series against Houston on Monday at 1:35 p.m. ET at Camden Yards. A couple of lefties will take the mound -- Dallas Keuchel (6-0, 1.67 ERA) for the Astros and Wei-Yin Chen (1-3, 3.90 ERA) for Baltimore.
Marlins: After wrapping up a rough 10-game homestand, the Marlins embark on a six-game road trip beginning Monday at Pittsburgh. David Phelps, who has a 2.41 ERA in seven starts, will start for Miami in the series opener at 7:05 p.m. ET at PNC Park. Charlie Morton makes his first start of the season for the Pirates.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.