DENVER -- As any manager who's suffered through wild run-scoring games at Coors Field can attest, it's not the hits and homers that kill you. It's the walks.
The Colorado Rockies won the home run battle 2-1 Friday, but they walked nine to the Miami Marlins' two, helping the visitors to a 13-5 win to open the three-game set and nine-game road trip. Winners of four of five meetings against the Rockies, the Marlins also totaled 16 hits on their way to their ninth win in 13 games. The last of those hits was Marcell Ozuna's second career grand slam, part of a six-run ninth.
Ozuna, Jeff Baker and Giancarlo Stanton's each had three hits and every Marlins' starting position player tallied at least one. Six guys, including starter Henderson Alvarez, accounted for at least one RBI. Ozuna's five RBI game matched the career-high he set May 21 against the Philadelphia Phillies.
In winning four straight decisions for the first time in his career, Alvarez became the first Marlins' starter to reach the 10-win mark. He wasn't dominant in his first ever Coors Field outing. Two home run swings, one from Justin Morneau and the other from Corey Dickerson, accounted for the Rockies' four runs.
Friday marked the fifth time in 24 starts Alvarez allowed four or more earned in a game. The first three of those outings came in May and the last was July 11 at the New York Mets. That Citi Field start also was the last time Alvarez served up two homers in a game. The other was May 1 at home against the Atlanta Braves.
The Rockies' two two-run homers cut 4-0 and 6-2 Marlins' leads in half. Morneau in the third ripped a 2-1 Alvarez changeup over the right wall. Two innings later it was Dickerson who smacked a 1-1 fastball deep to right-center.
Though Alvarez at 3.43 pitches per batter Friday was just a tick above his major league-leading 3.38 mark entering the game, he needed 96 pitches to get through six innings. Five times this season, including two of his three shutouts, Alvarez completed seven or more on 97 pitches or fewer.
Including Dickerson's homer, five of the Rockies' 10 hits off Alvarez came with two outs. Three of Alvarez's six career games allowing a double-digit hit total have come during his 41 career starts as a member of the Marlins.
He's now started the same number of games for both his first and second major league teams. His first 41 with the Blue Jays: 10-17 with a 4.52 ERA, 62 walks and 119 strikeouts in 251 innings. His last 41 with the Marlins: 14-11 with a 2.98 ERA, 55 walks and 151 strikeouts in 253 1/3 innings.
His team leading 4-2, Christian Yelich initiated the Marlins' third of four scoring sequences with a leadoff single in the fifth that extended his hitting streak to 10. Casey McGehee and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each drew a bases-loaded walk off starter Franklin Morales and reliever Brooks Brown, respectively, adding to the Marlins' cushion.
During what is now his fourth career double-digit game hitting streak (third this season), Yelich is 21-for-41 (.512) with seven runs, four doubles, two RBI and three steals in as many attempts.
Stanton didn't homer, but he improved his already sick Coors Field numbers going 2-for-3 with a double, two runs, a RBI and two walks. He's now 16-for-43 (.372) with 12 runs, five doubles, seven homers, 17 RBI and nine walks in 12 games here.
The top third of Yelich, Baker and Stanton finished a combined 8-for-13 with four runs, three doubles, three RBI and four walks.
(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services