Homering late, Yelich stresses theme of resiliency

Homering late, Yelich stresses theme of resiliency

WASHINGTON -- The home run didn't change the outcome, but to Christian Yelich, it was another reminder that the Marlins are competing until the final out.

The Nationals prevailed, 4-2, on Sunday at Nationals Park, but in the ninth inning, Yelich went deep to right off closer Jonathan Papelbon. It was Miami's second home run of the season, with the first being delivered by Giancarlo Stanton on Opening Day.

"It's just important that we keep fighting," Yelich said. "We don't give up around here. Obviously, it wasn't enough. But keep battling at the end. You never know what's going to happen."

The solo shot actually did put the Marlins in striking distance, because with two outs, Martin Prado singled. Pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich has home run power, but he grounded out to second, ending the game.

"We had the tying run come to the plate, that's really all you can ask for," Yelich said.

Now hitting third in front of Giancarlo Stanton, Yelich is finding ways to get on base. He walked twice on Sunday, giving him six walks on the season, and his slash line is .364/.579/.727.

"I'm just trying to get on base anyway I can -- hit, walk, hit-by-pitch, whatever," Yelich said. "Any time you can get guys on in front of the big fella, that's really the goal. It can be two runs in a hurry with him up there."

The Marlins are off to a 1-3 start, but they've shown resolve in every game. On Opening Day, they rallied from five runs down in the sixth inning and three back in the ninth to force extra innings. They ended up losing, 8-7, in 11 innings to the Tigers.

On Sunday, the club had a shot in the ninth inning.

"We've played hard these four games, it just hasn't gone our way," Yelich said. "Credit to the other teams. They've done the little things they've needed to do to win. They got the big hits today. But it's still a long season. If we continue playing hard, and the way we're supposed to, it kind of evens out. I think good things are going to happen for us."

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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.