An injury ended starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood's day in just the second inning and the Miami Marlins capitalized by jumping all over Eddie Butler in emergency relief, defeating the visiting Colorado Rockies 9-6 on Saturday afternoon in south Florida.
Things were rough from the start, as the Marlins put up three runs in the first two innings against the Rockies and Chatwood. The righty entered the game with an undefeated record and sub-1.00 ERA on the road in his first six starts away from Denver, but didn't fare well in Miami — and his health didn't do him any favors, either. Chatwood left after throwing his 48th pitch with just two outs in the second inning due to mid-back spasms.
In total, including damage let in by reliever Eddie Butler, Chatwood allowed three earned runs in 1.2 innings on four hits and three walks against just two strikeouts. Just 28 of his 48 pitches were thrown for strikes. It is not yet known whether he will be available for his next start or if he'll be forced to endure a stint on the disabled list due to the back spasms.
Butler not only let in two of Chatwood's runs in the bottom of the second inning, he also sustained significant damage of his own in the third (two runs) and the fifth (four more) that saw his season ERA balloon to 6.26 and turn a game the Rockies had actually been leading at one point into a three-run deficit.
To their credit, the Rockies' offense knocked out Marlins starter Wei-Yin Chen in the third inning when they scored six runs, highlighted by RBI singles from Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Raburn, a bases loaded walk to Mark Reynolds, and then a bases-clearing double by catcher Nick Hundley. At that point, after the top of the third, the Rockies were leading 6-3 with Butler set to go deep in long relief.
But Justin Bour's two-run home run off Eddie in the bottom of the third made it a one-run game. And then, two innings later, a four-spot highlighted by JT Realmuto's three-run homer off Butler saw the Fish storm back to a 9-6 lead, overcoming Chen's poor start and leaving the Rockies' reliever in line for the loss.
Butler was eventually tagged with that loss, allowing six runs (all earned) on nine hits in 3.1 innings pitched, after the Rockies failed to make a comeback later in the game. Dustin McGowan earned the win for Miami, throwing 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in Chen's place.
Optimistically for the Rockies, Justin Miller tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Butler (and Chad Qualls), lowering his season ERA to 5.46 in what has been a very up-and-down summer thus far for the Bakersfield, California native. At the plate, Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado collected two hits apiece in addition to Hundley's big double and a triple from DJ LeMahieu.
The Rockies and Marlins continue their series tomorrow at 11:10 am MT before finishing it on Monday.