Yelich used as pinch-hitting decoy vs. Rays

Marlins left fielder dealing with back spasms since Saturday

Yelich used as pinch-hitting decoy vs. Rays

MIAMI -- The Marlins were threatening in the eighth inning on Monday night, and Christian Yelich, wearing a helmet, was lurking in the dugout. The left-handed hitting outfielder actually was announced as a pinch-hitter, but under no circumstances was he going to bat.

Dealing with back spasms, Yelich became a decoy in the inning Miami scored two runs to pull off a 7-6 comeback win over the Rays at Marlins Park.

Yelich tweaked his back on Saturday, and he has not started in three games. The club is hopeful he can avoid a disabled list stint, and he may even be ready to start later in the week.

On Monday, however, he was officially listed as being in the game, but he actually was unavailable. Even if the Rays stuck with right-hander Erasmo Ramirez and didn't change to lefty Enny Romero.

Manager Don Mattingly made it clear postgame, Yelich wasn't going to hit.

"No, no," Mattingly said. "They don't know. That's why when we talked about it before the game, you never want to be able to say you can use a guy or you can't use a guy. Their guy was stuck any way. Their guy had a lot of pitches."

With Romero on the mound, Cole Gillespie batted for Yelich, and he lifted the game-tying sacrifice fly to right.

Gillespie's game-tying sac fly

Ichiro Suzuki then singled off Romero, and Miami had runners on the corners for Martin Prado, who drove home the decisive run with an RBI grounder to the pitcher.

Miguel Rojas got the inning going with a single, his third hit of the night, which matched his career high. Adeiny Hechavarria shot the ball into the gap in right-center, and the Marlins had first and third with no outs.

"Miggy leads that off, and Hechy hits that ball in the gap, and that kind of sets it up," Mattingly said.

Hechavarria scores go-ahead run

Prado's comebacker wasn't pretty, but it got the job done to manufacture the decisive run.

"It was a pretty good game overall," Prado said. "We came back, they came back. At the end, we got the run."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. 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.