Jennings caps hectic day with first victory

Jennings caps hectic day with first victory

Jennings caps hectic day with first victory
MIAMI -- When Dan Jennings arrived at Marlins Park shortly before first pitch Friday night, his first Major League win was the last thing on his mind -- especially with Josh Johnson and Giants righty Tim Lincecum going toe to toe on the mound.

But that's just what happened when Jennings entered the game in the sixth with the Marlins trailing, 3-1, and pitched a perfect inning, recording his first career strikeout in the process.

Miami scored five runs in the bottom of the frame, giving Jennings the victory. He got the ball from the strikeout and the night's scorecard as keepsakes.

"To see those two guys starting ... it was a crazy deal to come back up and see those guys square off," Jennings said. "As a reliever you don't think much about wins, because it's not really a stat you strive for."

The win capped a whirlwind day for Jennings, who was recalled Friday after the Marlins optioned struggling reliever Mike Dunn. Jennings was with Miami's Triple-A affiliate, the New Orleans Zephyrs, in Reno, Nev., on Thursday when he got the call, and was on the earliest flight he could catch to Miami -- one that left at 7 a.m. MT in Reno.

From there, Jennings flew three hours to Dallas before a 90-minute layover and another 2 1/2-hour flight to Miami. He arrived at Marlins Park about 30 minutes before first pitch.

"It was pretty chaotic," Jennings said. "The whole day I was traveling I was worrying about how I was going to get a throwing program in."

Jennings got to the Marlins' clubhouse, threw on his jersey and started tossing the ball down on the field at 6:55 p.m. ET. He originally thought first pitch was at 7 p.m., but found out it was actually a 7:10 game and called the extra 10 minutes "pretty much monumental."

When Jennings relieved Johnson in the sixth, those extra 10 minutes before the game appeared to pay dividends. Jennings got Angel Pagan, who is hitting .397 in his last 15 games, to ground out to open the inning before striking out Aubrey Huff and getting Joaquin Arias to line out.

"I didn't know if I was going to pitch, if I wasn't going to pitch, I just really had to put that thought in my head to be ready, despite everything that went on, despite the day," Jennings said. "Routines and everything went out the window -- just basically had to be in the moment and be ready to get here."