Anderson makes immediate impact, Brinson homers, Bleier comes up big
Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson was reinstated from the IL on Monday and connected on a three-run homer in his first at-bat
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
MIAMI — Welcome back, Brian Anderson!
The Miami Marlins third baseman didn’t waste any time making an impact felt in his first game off the injured list.
In the first inning on Monday, Anderson uncorked a three-run, opposite-field home run off Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Riley Smith.
The quick-strike by Anderson was the first of two three-run homers by the Marlins in their 9-3 win in the series opener at loanDepot park.
Lewis Brinson added a three-run homer in a six-run eighth inning after Arizona pulled even at 3 in the top of the inning. The pitching hero was reliever Richard Bleier, who inherited a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the eighth.
The D-backs had just pulled even at three, but Bleier logged three of the biggest outs in the season, thus far. The lefty struck out the next three, and the offense broke things open in the Miami half of the eighth.
If not for Bleier’s heroics, perhaps Arizona would have broken the game open, after trailing three runs in the first.
Bleier and Brinson are South Florida natives.
Bleier was born in Miami Beach and attended Florida Gulf Coast, while Brinson is from Coral Springs.
Anderson got the offense going, and provided an immediate spark since being reinstated.
His shot to right field came two weeks to the day since Anderson was last in the lineup. The 27-year-old third baseman went on the injured list on April 21 with a strained oblique, and he was out the entire 10-game road trip.
The Marlins had gone 11 straight games with Jon Berti starting at third base.
Getting Anderson in the lineup is a big boost to a team that has been struggling at the plate. Miami scored just 33 runs in the entire road trip, a 3.3 runs per game average.
With one swing, Anderson accounted for three runs. That’s the kind of impact the club has been missing.
Miami’s lineup, of course, has been depleted due to injuries.
During the road trip, the Marlins were without three regulars who were in the Opening Day lineup — Anderson, center fielder Starling Marte (rib), second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. (hamstring) and catcher Jorge Alfaro (hamstring).
Manager Don Mattingly hit Anderson in the fifth spot in his return to action.
The Marlins had a two-out rally in the first inning. Corey Dickerson walked with two out, and Adam Duvall singled,
Smith fell behind in the count to Anderson, 3-1, and the Miami third baseman got a 91.8 mph sinker that he drove over the wall in right field.
Per Statcast, the home run projected at 371 feet, with an exit velocity of 104.2 mph.
Even before the injury, Anderson had shown the ability to hit the ball to the right side. His first home run also was to the opposite field.
The Marlins made a series of roster moves before the game.
Right-hander Paul Campbell (suspended 80-games) was placed on the restricted list. Outfielder Monte Harrison was optioned to Triple-A Jacksonville, and right-hander Anthony Bender had his contract selected from Jacksonville.
Brinson had a big game in center field field. His homer projected at 406 feet, and had an exit speed of 106.6 mph. Brinson added a double in the game, with an exit speed of 107.1 mph.
Brinson also made a big play in center field, throwing out Asdrubal Cabrera trying to stretch a single to a double in the fifth inning.