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Caleb Smith dominates again as Marlins beat Phillies in extras, 3-1

Jordan McPherson, Miami Herald on

Published in Baseball

PHILADELPHIA -- It was more of the same from Caleb Smith on Thursday night.

And, eventually, the Miami Marlins' offense gave enough support for a 3-1, 10-inning win over the Philadelphia Phillies to begin a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park.

The final blow: A Starlin Castro go-ahead, two-out, two-run homer in the top of the 10th off reliever Hector Neris. Sergio Romo earned the save.

But the Marlins (8-17), who have now won three consecutive series openers, likely would not have been in the position to win if not for another gutsy performance from Smith.

The Marlins' 27-year-old left-handed pitcher dominated the Phillies (13-12), throwing a season-long seven innings and tying a season high eight strikeouts for his fourth consecutive quality start. Smith gave up just four hits and one run -- a solo home run to Sean Rodriguez in the second -- in the no-decision.

But the most telling part of Smith's performance came two at-bats into his time on the mound when he faced catcher and former teammate J.T. Realmuto for a lengthy, 16-pitch at-bat.

After working the count full in the first five pitches, Realmuto proceeded to foul off the next 10 pitches thrown his way, a healthy mix of change-ups, four-seam fastballs and sliders, before ultimately getting Realmuto to strike out swinging on a 94-mph fastball.

Smith threw 102 pitches on Thursday, 78 of which went for strikes.

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Through five starts, Smith has a 2.10 ERA with 36 strikeouts to just seven walks over 30 innings of work.

The Marlins tied the game in the third on a Martin Prado RBI single that scored Lewis Brinson, who led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt before Prado's hit.

They had a chance to take the lead in the ninth. Miguel Rojas led off the inning with a single and moved to second base on a Brinson sacrifice bunt. After Rosell Herrera struck out, Isaac Galloway hit a single to shallow left field. Rojas attempted to score from second on the play, but a throw from Nick Williams in left field made it to Realmuto in time to tag Rojas out at home.

(c)2019 Miami Herald

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