MIAMI: There is no way to assess a big trade on a single weekend of results.
Credit Andrew Cashner with a solid effort in his first turn for the Marlins on Sunday (Monday in Manila) at Marlins Park since being acquired from the San Diego Padres in a seven-player trade.
The veteran right-hander was in line to get the decision over a tough opponent in Carlos Martinez after holding the Cardinals to two runs (only one earned) and four hits in six innings.
Reliever Fernando Rodney, obtained in an earlier trade with the Padres, let a two-run lead slip away in the eighth inning.
The Marlins won it in the ninth on Derek Deitrich’s pinch-hit triple off Matt Bowman. Dietrich’s two-out hit scored Adeiny Hechavarria from first for the 5-4 victory.
Dietrich had been 0-for-22 on the homestand.
Rodney was one strike away from getting out of the eighth with the lead in tact when Stephen Piscotty stroked a 0-2 changeup into the corner in left drove for a run-scoring double. Piscotty was able to come all the way home with the tying run after Adeiny Hechavarria airmailed the relay into the stands in a futile attempt to throw out Tommy Pham at the plate.
Rodney, who had a 0.31 era with the Padres, has a 4.50 mark in 14 appearances for the Marlins.
Cashner retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced and was cruising along but was lifted after 82 pitches. He was within one out of his longest outing this season.
The Marlins could feel much better about the early returns on Friday’s deal with the Padres if Colin Rea hadn’t aborted a promising start Saturday with elbow soreness. He was placed on the disabled list Sunday and his prognosis is uncertain.
The Marlins did finish the series with back-to-back wins to gain a split on the weekend and take the season series against the Cardinals 4-3 to pull one game ahead of St. Louis in the wild-card race. They also finished the homestand with a break-even 5-5.
A disappointing note for fans, the team’s marketing department and a sizeable Japanese media contingent, Ichiro Suzuki remained stuck a 2,998 hits.
Ichiro came up as a pinch hitter with a runner on in the seventh and, with the crowd of 23,666 standing and chanting his name, popped out to first base on a 2-2 fastball from Martinez. He went 2-for-17 on the homestand.