Marlins resume MLB season with win

The Miami Marlins engage in socially-distanced celebrations after beating the Orioles.
The Miami Marlins engage in socially-distanced celebrations after beating the Orioles.

Scrambling for replacements following a coronavirus outbreak, the Miami Marlins added a Moran, a Morin, two pitchers named Josh Smith and an Olympic speedskating medallist to their roster.

Also among the 18 players joining the Marlins' 30-man list as they resumed their virus-disrupted Major League Baseball season in Baltimore on Tuesday night were outfielder Monte Harrison and right-hander Jose Guzman, highly-regarded prospects reaching the majors for the first time.

Another newcomer was Richard Bleier, who pitched a scoreless inning as the Marlins beat the Orioles 4-0.

"We've been through a lot," manager Don Mattingly said. "It felt good to get out there."

Before the game, starting pitchers Sandy Alcantara and Caleb Smith joined Jose Urena on the injured list, leaving the Marlins without three-fifths of their rotation.

With more than half the team needing to be replaced, newcomers included infielder Eddy Alvarez, a 30-year-old Miami native who won a silver medal in speedskating at the 2014 Winter Olympics and had yet to play in the majors.

"A tremendous story on stick-to-it-iveness," president of baseball operations Michael Hill said.

In the wake of their ordeal, the Marlins are technically in first place in the NL East. At 3-1, they have the best winning percentage in the division.

Teams are scheduled for only 60 games each this season and it's possible not every club will play that many because of disruptions. In that case, with 16 of 30 clubs making the playoffs, the postseason field would be determined by winning percentage.

"We expect to win," Mattingly said.

The Marlins will try to keep doing so with a revamped pitching staff that includes right-hander Mike Morin and left-hander Brian Moran, and right-hander Josh A. Smith and left-hander Josh D. Smith, all recently-acquired veterans.

"I won't say it was a call to arms," Hill said. "It was a call in need of arms."

Australian Associated Press