San Francisco Giants blow out Miami Marlins, Elieser Hernandez


Miami Marlins starting pitcher Elieser Hernandez throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Friday, June 3, 2022, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)


The Miami Marlins decided to experiment on Friday. Elieser Hernandez was the team’s originally scheduled starting pitcher against the San Francisco Giants.

But Hernandez has struggled this year, so they tried to find a way to ease the pressure on the 27-year-old right-handed pitcher.

The plan: Richard Bleier pitches the first inning as an opener, with Hernandez following as a long reliever. This would, in theory, limit the amount of times Hernandez faced the top of the Giants’ lineup and, the Marlins hoped, maybe lead to some success.

“Just switch it up,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said pregame.

The switch-up backfired.

The Marlins were down a run before Hernandez entered in the second and the long ball once again doomed Hernandez in a 15-6 loss to the Giants at loanDepot park.

It’s the most runs the Marlins (21-29) have allowed this season, passing the 13 they gave up in the second game of their doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. It’s also the most lopsided defeat for the Marlins this year. The previous largest margin of defeat was seven runs (10-3 against the Phillies on April 16).

Hernandez gave up a season-high four home runs — a three-run shot by Mike Yastrzemski in the second inning, a solo home run by Joc Pederson in the third, a two-run blast by Thairo Estrada in the fifth and another solo shot by Jason Vosler in the sixth — to account for seven of the season-high eight runs he allowed over four innings of work. He allowed eight hits total, walked two more and hit another batter while striking out a season-high seven batters.

Hernandez has now allowed an MLB-high 18 home runs this season over 48 innings. His ERA has ballooned to 6.75 over 11 appearances (nine starts). Those home runs have accounted for 25 of the 40 runs — 62.5 percent — Hernandez has allowed this season.

On Friday, it was more of the same.

Yastrzemski sent a full-count slider on the outer edge of the plate 397 feet to right-center field in the second for a three-run home run.

Pederson sent a middle-middle fastball on a 1-2 count 410 feet to right field for his third-inning home run.

Estrada sent a middle-middle slider on a 1-0 count in the fifth 412 feet to left field for his two-run shot.

And Vosler capped the home run barrage with his 362-foot shot to right field that just stayed inside the foul pole.

The Giants (28-23) didn’t stop there. They scored six more runs in the seventh against reliever Louis Head on a Yastrzemski two-run double and Brandon Crawford grand slam.

Before all that, though, the Marlins were already in a 1-0 hole when San Francisco scratched across a run against Bleier, Miami’s opener.

He gave up a leadoff single to Wilmer Flores and Yastrzemski before a deep Evan Longoria flyout advanced both runners 90 feet. A Crawford RBI groundout drove in Flores — and possibly could have done more damage if not for a great defensive play by Jazz Chisholm Jr. to stop the ball from leaving the infield. The inning ended with a Curt Casali strikeout. Bleier threw 24 pitches in the inning.

Miami scored its runs on a Jon Berti two-run double in the fourth, a Nick Fortes home run in the seventh and three runs in the ninth off position-player Donovan Walton on a Jesus Sanchez solo home run and RBI singles from Fortes and Garrett Cooper.

Position player pitching

With the game so far out of reach, the Marlins had utility infielder Willians Astudillo pitch the ninth inning.

Astudillo retired the side on 14 pitches, working around a one-out walk to Flores. Vosler lined out to Chisholm to begin the inning. Yastrzemski hit a soft line drive to third baseman Jesus Aguilar in the shift. And Evan Longoria hit a fly ball to Bryan De La Cruz in right field to end the inning.

It was Astudillo’s sixth career pitching appearance after taking the mound once for the Minnesota Twins in 2018 and four times in 2021.

Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.

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