Inning after inning, the Colorado Rockies kept pitching out of jams to preserve a lead, until a blooper dropped in shallow left field in the eighth inning for the Miami Marlins.
Christian Yelich’s two-out single barely eluded shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to score the tying run, and the Marlins went on to beat Colorado 8-5 on Thursday.
“That ball could have been an out,” reliever Matt Belisle said. “But it wasn’t.”
The Marlins overcame a 5-1 deficit, and they were 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position before Yelich’s hit. Colorado went on to give up four runs in the inning to lose three of four games in the season-opening series.
“I saw some good things, but it’s a bottom-line league,” manager Walt Weiss said. “We’ve got to win.”
The Rockies head to Denver for their home opener Friday against Arizona hoping to reverse their slow start.
“It’s definitely not how you write it up,” Michael Cuddyer said. “Now we’ve got to look at the Diamondbacks and win that series and get right back where we need to be.”
Cuddyer had a run batted in on a groundout in the first inning and two-run homer in the third. Last year’s National League batting champion is hitting .412.
Casey McGehee had three RBIs for the Marlins, who scored 27 runs in the series. It took them 14 games to score 27 runs last year, when they finished last in the majors in runs and batting and lost 100 games.
Yelich tied the game 5-5 with his single off Belisle (0-1). Yelich stole second – with the call confirmed by a replay review – and Jeff Baker walked. Giancarlo Stanton then hit an RBI single after falling behind 0-2, and McGehee followed with a two-run single.
“Belisle almost got through that inning,” Weiss said. “Then you got the meat of the order coming up after that. The two-out hit by Yelich was the tough one.”
McGehee has eight RBIs and Stanton seven in the season’s first week.
“It’s definitely different than what we’re used to,” Stanton said. “It has been fun. We’re having a good time.”
A.J. Ramos (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth. Steve Cishek followed with a scoreless ninth for his 31st consecutive converted save opportunity, and his second this year.
Franklin Morales allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings for Colorado. Miami starter Jacob Turner gave up five runs in six innings.
Two calls were upheld after replay reviews.
Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez made a leaping catch in the third to rob Stanton of an extra-base hit.