Yelich has go-ahead RBI as Marlins beat Royals 1-0 after tidy matchup of starting pitchers
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Christian Yelich singled home the go-ahead run with one out in the 10th inning Tuesday night and the Miami Marlins beat the Kansas City Royals 1-0 after a tidy matchup of contrasting starters.
Hard-throwing Marlins prodigy Jose Fernandez and wily Royals veteran Bruce Chen each lasted seven innings before handing the scoreless game over to their bullpens.
It continued to extra innings before Kansas City reliever Kelvin Herrera (4-6) brushed the jersey of the Marlins' Jake Marisnick with a pitch in the 10th. Marisnick stole second and then scored on Yelich's single through the right side of the infield, his third hit of the game.
Chad Qualls (3-1) earned the win for Miami, while Steve Cishek survived a single in the bottom half of the 10th for his 25h save. Cishek has converted 20 in a row, the third-longest streak in the majors behind the Braves' Craig Kimbrel and the Royals' Greg Holland.
The Royals, who had won 17 of their last 20, were trying to wrap up their eighth consecutive series victory. They'll try again in the finale on Wednesday afternoon.
The game began as a pitching duel between a 36-year-old soft-tossing junkballer who began the season in the bullpen and a 21-year-old flamethrowing phenom who defected from Cuba.
Chen and Fernandez matched each other pitch-for-pitch most of the night.
The Royals' left-hander allowed a leadoff single to Yelich but didn't allow another hit until the fourth.
With his beguiling 84 mph fastball — the term "fastball" applied loosely — Chen managed to strike out three batters around a walk in the third inning. He fanned another in the sixth.
Otherwise, the Marlins spent most of the night popping balls into shallow center field, trudging back to the dugout and wondering why someone who couldn't throw harder than some Little League pitchers kept baffling them with his dizzying array of floating changeups.
Meanwhile, Fernandez was blowing smoke past many Royals hitters.
Both pitchers were pulled after allowing three hits. Chen lowered his sparkling ERA to 0.94 in six starts since replacing Luis Mendoza in the Royals rotation, while Fernandez ensured he would have his sixth straight start without a defeat.
NOTES: Marlins OF Chris Coghlan (right calf nerve irritation) will begin a rehab assignment Wednesday at Class A Jupiter. He plans to play five innings at 3B. ... Royals 3B Mike Moustakas (left calf strain) was held out of the lineup. An MRI exam confirmed the strain and he's day to day, manager Ned Yost said. ... Kansas City RHP Ervin Santana will start against Miami RHP Jacob Turner in Wednesday's series finale.