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Adam Duvall insists his approach is the same every time he’s at the plate.
“Get a good pitch to hit,” the Miami Marlins outfielder said, “and try to barrel the crap out of it. ... I want the ball to feel like it’s shot out of a cannon when it leaves my bat.”
But that approach — and the results that come with it — have been particularly noticeable this season with runners in scoring position and two outs.
It was on display again in the fifth Sunday afternoon when he hit a go-ahead three-run home run to lift the Marlins to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to avoid a three-game sweep. Miami (18-22) lost the first two games of the series 9-6 on Friday and 7-0 on Saturday.
Four of Duvall’s eight home runs and 20 of his 28 RBI this season have come with two outs and at least one runner in scoring position. That’s the most in MLB so far this year.
But while Duvall’s bat gave the Marlins the lead, his throwing help helped preserve it a half-inning later.
With two outs and Mookie Betts on second base as the potential game-tying run, Matt Beaty hit a soft line drive to shallow right field for a single. Duvall scooped up the ball and made a throw to Chad Wallach, who tagged out Betts for the inning-ending out.
“I kind of played the play in my mind before it even happened,” said Duvall, who entered Sunday with an MLB-best 10 defensive runs saved according to FanGraphs. “I know the speed [Betts] has. I knew I had to get rid of it quick. It was a good ball to do it on. ... Fortunately it was a good spot and good throw and Chad was able to put the tag on it.”
It backed up a strong performance on the mound by Lopez, who earned his first win the season. Lopez threw five innings, holding the Dodgers (22-18) to just two runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out three.
The right-handed pitcher also started Miami’s fifth-inning rally by reaching base on a fielding error to lead off the inning. Jazz Chisholm Jr., playing in his first game back with the Marlins since going on the injured list April 28 with a left hamstring strain, followed with a groundball single up the middle.
They moved up 90 feet on Corey Dickerson’s groundout and scored when Duvall sent a 92.6 mph sinker from Dodgers reliever Edwin Uceta a projected 407 feet to left field to give the Marlins their first lead of the three-game series.
“I’m feeling good at the plate,” said Duvall, who is hitting .317 (13 for 41) with four home runs, 14 RBI and six runs scored over his last 11 starts. “I feel like my moves are right. I’m able to swing at the pitches I want to swing at.”
All that Jazz
Chisholm went 2 for 5 with a pair of hard-hit singles, a run scored, a stolen base and two strikeouts while batting leadoff and playing shortstop on Sunday.
Both of his hits had exit velocities above 100 mph, according to Statcast.
Chisholm had missed 16 consecutive games while rehabbing his hamstring. Chisholm played three games with the Jumbo Shrimp on a rehab assignment before flying to Los Angeles on Saturday to join the big-league club. He went 4 for 9 at the plate with one double, one home run, four RBI and three runs scored. He looked fine running the basepaths in all three games.
One more stop
The Marlins conclude their three-city road trip with three games against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park starting Tuesday. The road trip began with four games in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This is the Marlins’ second consecutive three-city road trip, after going through a 10-game run that included stops in San Francisco, Milwaukee and Washington, D.C. They have one more three-city trip on the docket that sends them to Boston to play the Red Sox from May 28-30, Buffalo to face the Toronto Blue Jays June 1-2 and Pittsburgh to face the Pirates June 3-6.
This and that
▪ First baseman/right fielder Garrett Cooper’s offense has begun to turn around as of late. He has at least one hit in seven of his last eight starts.
▪ Richard Bleier, Anthony Bass, Dylan Floro and Yimi Garcia threw four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to preserve the win.