Yelich's throw seals win on tough day for Marlins

Yelich's throw seals win on tough day for Marlins

MIAMI -- Nothing has come easy for the Marlins, who held their ground in the National League Wild Card race, needing the final out to do so. Christian Yelich threw out pinch-runner Carlos Sanchez at the plate to seal the Marlins' 5-4 rollercoaster win over the White Sox Sunday at Marlins Park.

"I knew I had some time to make a good throw," Yelich said. "[Catcher] Jeff [Mathis] made a hell of a play making the catch and putting the tag on him. It was a big one for us."

Throw down! Yelich nabs runner at home for last out

"You kind of never know if you've done it the proper way, or you try to do it by the book and the way the new rule says," Mathis said after the play was reviewed but quickly stood. "But you never know now. I was just happy it turned out and we got an out."

Statcast: Yelich's clutch throw

On a day the Marlins learned they were likely losing Giancarlo Stanton for the rest of the year with a left groin strain, the Marlins scratched out five runs off All-Star Chris Sale, who gave up eight hits while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings. The Marlins salvaged the series finale after dropping the first two, completing a 2-4 homestand.

Miami may be without its feared slugger in Stanton, but it still has the presence of one of its most dependable hitters. Martin Prado lined an RBI single to right-center in the seventh inning that snapped a deadlock and lifted Miami for good.

"They made stuff happen out there," said Sale, who is 0-4 with two no-decisions over his last six starts. "It goes to show, you put the ball in play and good things happen. They are an athletic team and putting the barrel on the ball."

Tom Koehler helped his cause with a two-run single off Sales' foot in the fifth inning, and a heads-up play by Adeiny Hechavarria on Ichiro Suzuki's sacrifice bunt in the same inning gave Miami the lead. Hechavarria scored from second on the bunt because no one was covering home.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
He loves lefties: Just as he's been doing all season, Prado came through with the big hit in the seventh to break a 3-3 tie. Hechavarria reached on an infield single before advancing on Miguel Rojas' sacrifice bunt. After a Suzuki hit-by-pitch, Prado slapped a 2-1 Sale slider to right to give the Fish the lead. Marcell Ozuna then padded the lead with a RBI infield single of his own. Prado has demolished lefties this year, owning an MLB-best .427 (44-for-103) clip against them.

"We've talked about him and [Yelich] and JT [Realmuto] as our bread-and-butter guys all year long," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Just been consistent from start to finish. Obviously, Martin's gotten a lot of big hits for us over the course of the year. It seems like, as the season goes on, he just keeps getting bigger and bigger results all the time."

Prado's go-ahead single

That didn't take long: Adam Eaton wasted little time putting the White Sox in front, hitting the first pitch from Koehler for his 10th home run this season. It was Eaton's seventh career leadoff shot and his third this year.

"It's always good to get off to a good start, especially when Chris Sale is pitching," said Eaton, who had three hits Sunday and seven for the series, in which he reached base 10 times. "The last three days, it has been very good. We need to expect to get off on the right foot and get running right away, and it was accomplished the last three days. But we have to keep doing it."

Eaton's leadoff homer

Do it yourself: The Marlins hit Sale hard in the fifth, literally. Three straight hits loaded the bases for Koehler, who lined a two-run single that deflected off Sale's shoe and bounced into left field. The hit knotted the game at 2 and provided the Marlins with a spark, as they took the lead a batter later when Hechavarria scored from second on Suzuki's sacrifice bunt. Koehler's hit was just his fourth this season and boosted his career RBI total to five.

"Fortunately, I got a fastball in the zone," Koehler said. "I probably got lucky. I haven't had a lot of hits. I was just trying to contribute anyway I can there."

Koehler's two-run single

Fortunate bounce: The White Sox tied the game in the sixth with a little help from the Marlins' infield. With Tyler Saladino on second and one out, Jose Abreu hit a roller to third that Prado thought was going foul. It was, until it clipped the corner of the third-base bag for a run-scoring double.

QUOTABLE
"[Todd Frazier] was saying all the way up, 'Good fight, boys.' It is. It was a good fight. We're never out, which is great. The scrappiness of this team is good to see, for sure, but it has to continue. We can't have a lull going forward. We have to be consistent, be able to fight late and score early." -- Eaton, on the team's late rally coming up short.

"Take that chance every time. Give us an opportunity to tie the game, and get right back in it." -- White Sox third-base coach Joe McEwing, on sending Sanchez with two outs in the ninth.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Hechavarria was ruled safe at first leading off the seventh, after Frazier made a diving stop of his grounder and a strong throw to first. White Sox manager Robin Ventura challenged the ruling, but after a short review, the safe call stood. Two batters, later, home-plate umpire Tripp Gibson ruled that a 2-2 pitch hit Ichiro. A crew-chief review followed, and that call stood, too.

Hechavarria's infield hit

WHAT'S NEXT
White Sox: After a scheduled team off-day Monday, Jose Quintana opens a series against the American League Central leaders in Cleveland on Tuesday night at 6:10 p.m. CT. Quintana is 5-2 with a 2.68 ERA lifetime against the Indians and has a 2-0 record with a 1.17 ERA at Progressive Field.

Marlins: Miami heads to Cincinnati to open a four-game series with the Reds on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET. David Phelps (5-6, 2.40) looks to build upon his 0.96 ERA in two starts since transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 21 career innings versus Cincinnati.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.