The Miami Marlins took the field for the last time this season on Sunday. The last place Marlins knew that this was the end of their season and that they had a chance to compete against the American League Central champion Detroit Tigers.
Henderson Alvarez took the mound for the 11th time this season with former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander facing him for the Tigers. Verlander entered the game with a record of 13-12.
Alvarez quickly started dominating the Tigers hitters with his pitches. Detroit's hitters could not connect with a single pitch that left Alvarez's hand.
Despite Alvarez's success, the Miami hitters were held scoreless for the first eight innings of the game.
Verlander pitched well but was pulled from the game in the sixth inning to save him for the Tigers upcoming playoff series against the Oakland Athletics.
The only runner to reach base for the Tigers for the entirety of the game was Jose Iglesias, who reached first base due to a fielding error by Adeiny Hechavarria.
The Tigers relief pitchers, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello, each pitched a scoreless inning. This made room for Luke Putkonen to pitch the ninth inning.
The Marlins came to bat in the ninth inning, trying to preserve Alvarez's no hitter and end the season with a win. After a quick single by Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins had a man aboard with one out. The very next batter, first baseman Logan Morrison, singled to give the Marlins runners on first and second base with one out.
The runners advanced after Putkonen threw a wild pitch. Hechavarria grounded out to give the Marlins two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Chris Coghlan was issued a walk by Putkonen to load the bases.
As if it was a written script, Putkonen fired yet another wild pitch, bringing home Giancarlo Stanton and giving the Marlins a walk off, no hitter victory in the last game of the season.
While the Marlins are far from being a playoff contender, the excitement that the team brought on Sunday ended the season on a bright note and deflated the Tigers a bit as they head into the playoffs.
For 23-year-old Venezuelan Alvarez, a superb performance marked the end of disappointing season and hopefully heralds the beginning of his dominance.
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