Nola continues progress, improved hitting in AFL win

Marlins prospect drives in two runs, contributes defensively in Salt River victory

Nola continues progress, improved hitting in AFL win

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ever since the Marlins selected Austin Nola in fifth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, he has continued to get better.

Nola has increased his batting average in each of his three Minor League seasons and that trend has continued in the Arizona Fall League.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Marlins expect to be active during Hot Stove

Club looks to sign Stanton to extension, explore options for a front-line starting pitcher

Marlins expect to be active during Hot Stove

Hot Stove Tracker

MIAMI -- Major League Baseball is already turning its attention to 2015. The Hot Stove season is set to begin, and the Marlins are expected to be among the more active teams looking to make upgrades in the ensuing months.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stanton picks up three of Marlins' eight GIBBY nominations

McGehee, Hechavarria, Ozuna also among those cited on the ballot

Stanton picks up three of Marlins' eight GIBBY nominations

Although an errant fastball brought his season to a painfully premature end, Giancarlo Stanton spent most of 2014 putting a hurting on opponents. That damage was enough to earn the slugger three nominations for MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Awards out of the eight collected by the Marlins.

Stanton, who suffered multiple facial fractures and dental damage when he was hit by a Mike Fiers pitch on Sept. 11, is one of 10 Major Leaguers nominated for the MLB MVP GIBBY. He's also up for honors in the Hitter and Walk-Off categories.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Marlins expected to exercise option on Mathis

Marlins expected to exercise option on Mathis

MIAMI -- Before focusing on free-agent signings, the Marlins have decided to retain one of their own. According to sources, the team plans on picking up catcher Jeff Mathis' $1.5 million option.

The decision is not a surprise, as the organization has long held the 31-year-old in high regard as a backup for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Inbox: Will Cishek be back to close in 2015?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers Marlins fans' questions

Inbox: Will Cishek be back to close in 2015?

Click here to submit a question.

In arbitration, Steve Cishek is due to get a big payday. Is he still part of the Marlins' plans for next season?
-- Alex J., Coral Gables, Fla.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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With superstars returning, '15 looks bright in Miami

Fernandez to lead rotation; Stanton to round out top-notch outfield

With superstars returning, '15 looks bright in Miami

MIAMI -- "Wait till next year" is far from an empty saying for the Marlins as they set their sights on 2015. From upper management down to the players, there is legitimate optimism that the club is on the cusp of contending.

If not for some serious injuries that helped derail their hopes this year, the Marlins may have shocked the baseball world and competed in October. Those hopes were dashed when Giancarlo Stanton was struck on the face by a pitch on Sept. 11, forcing the slugger to join ace Jose Fernandez (Tommy John surgery in May) on the sidelines.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Trout, Stanton win 2014 Hank Aaron Award

Commissioner Selig also presented with honorary award by Hall of Fame slugger

Trout, Stanton win 2014 Hank Aaron Award

SAN FRANCISCO -- Mike Trout of the Angels and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins were named the 2014 winners of the Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league.

Commissioner Bud Selig made the presentation before Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday at AT&T Park.

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Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Marlins prospect Ellington selected to Fall Stars Game

Marlins prospect Ellington selected to Fall Stars Game

MIAMI -- From top to bottom in their organization, the Marlins feel they have high-end pitching depth. On Monday, one of their Advanced Class A Jupiter right-handers was recognized for his standout performances in the Arizona Fall League.

Brian Ellington has been selected to represent the Marlins on the East Division squad in the Fall Stars Game on Saturday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Ariz. The East manager will be Andy Haines, the skipper of Miami's Triple-A New Orleans affiliate.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Hechavarria, Stanton, Yelich first-time Gold Glove finalists

Left fielder strong candidate as teammates face stiff competition at their positions

Hechavarria, Stanton, Yelich first-time Gold Glove finalists

Three Marlins will have their first shot at a Rawlings Gold Glove Award this year, as shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Christian Yelich were named National League finalists at their respective positions on Thursday.

The Gold Glove Award winners will be announced on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. ET live on ESPN2. According to Rawlings, 75 percent of the selection process is decided by a vote of managers and coaches, with up to seven votes per team, while the remaining 25 percent comes from a sabermetric element introduced last season through a partnership with the Society for American Baseball Research. Managers and coaches can't vote for their own players.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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DeSclafani on point for win in AFL action

Twins' Rosario stays hot with three RBIs; fifth pitch-clock game timed at 2:19

DeSclafani on point for win in AFL action

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though there's plenty of baseball left to be played, the Salt River Rafters are in a good position when the Arizona Fall League winds down. The Rafters collected their fourth straight win Thursday night, defeating Surprise, 5-3, in the fifth game to use the 20-second pitch clock.

"We have a little bit of everything," Salt River manager Andy Haines said. "We have a chance every night, they come out and set the tone, and offensively everyone contributes up and down the lineup. It's a fun group."

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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McGehee's comeback year recognized by Sporting News

Third baseman earns NL honor after returning from Japan to play for Miami

McGehee's comeback year recognized by Sporting News

Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee has a trophy to go with his trove of frequent flier miles after he was named the National League Comeback Player of the Year by Sporting News on Monday.

McGehee's comeback was more literal than most, as he played in Japan in 2013 before returning to Major League Baseball on a one-year deal with the Marlins, for whom he proved a capable run-producer and lineup-stabilizer. Making the most of a career-high 160 games played, McGehee batted .287 with four home runs, 76 RBIs, 29 doubles and 177 hits -- the National League's fourth-highest hit total.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Marlins likely to seek talent with playoff experience

Vets changed clubhouse culture in '14; Shields, Panda would continue trend

Marlins likely to seek talent with playoff experience

MIAMI -- Success often breeds success, which is a major reason the Marlins last offseason placed a high emphasis on acquiring players with postseason experience. Many of their major pickups had previously played into October.

Expect more of the same when the hot stove season gets underway after the World Series. Miami made strides in the standings in 2014, largely because of a cultural change that focused on finding players with winning in their pasts.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Marlins Arizona Fall League overview

Marlins Arizona Fall League overview

Anthony DeSclafani, the Marlins' No. 3 prospect is spending his time with the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League working on the pitches he needs to complement his fastball while also making up for some lost innings.

"This is a good spot for me to work on my secondary stuff," DeSclafani said. "Getting a taste of the big leagues was a big motivator. I went up and down a lot this year. I want to stick up there next year, for sure. To get my stuff where it needs to be is going to be huge for me."

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Miami's next challenge: Finding 10 more wins

By adding starting pitcher, more power to lineup, Marlins aim to be contenders

Miami's next challenge: Finding 10 more wins

MIAMI -- Improving by 15 games returned the Marlins to respectability. To reach the postseason in 2015, the front office's next challenge is adding the pieces to pick up an additional 10 or so wins.

The World Series-bound Giants did just that, going from 76-86 in 2013 to 88-74 and earning a Wild Card berth this season. For the Marlins to make a similar leap, they'll need their young core to keep progressing, along with addressing their needs.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Inbox: When will Stanton talks begin?

Beat reporter Joe Frisaro answers Marlins fans' questions

Inbox: When will Stanton talks begin?

When do you think the Marlins will start negotiations with Giancarlo Stanton? Do you think a deal will get done? -- Eddie C., Orlando, Fla.

How the Stanton saga plays out will be one of the most followed stories of the Hot Stove season. In the next week or two, Miami's management team will get together for their annual offseason meetings. They will set the budget for 2015 (expected to be around $60 million), and put together their offseason plan.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Marlins eye in-house left-handers for rotation

Heaney, Hand among young arms who could step up in 2015

Marlins eye in-house left-handers for rotation

MIAMI -- Atop the Marlins' offseason shopping list is a starting pitcher. The market will determine their options, but an ideal candidate would be a left-hander to offset a predominantly right-handed unit.

A lack of lefties has been an issue for years, dating back to when Dontrelle Willis was traded to Detroit eight years ago. In 2012, Mark Buehrle was dependable, but no southpaw has solidified a spot since then. This season, Miami had just 26 total starts by lefties, with Brad Hand's 16 being the most.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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To McKeon, Beckett a standout competitor

Retiring righty hurled himself into World Series lore with former Marlins skipper

To McKeon, Beckett a standout competitor

MIAMI -- In their history, Marlins pitchers have combined to throw 141 complete games in the regular season, and four more in the postseason. None are more memorable than Josh Beckett's World Series-clinching gem at Yankee Stadium in 2003.

At 23, the hard-throwing right-hander cemented his legacy in Marlins history, and became the face of the franchise's second championship team. "There is no question about it, he was the key," said Jack McKeon, who managed the '03 club.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Lucas claimed by Texas; Valdespin to Triple-A

Marlins begin reshaping roster early into offseason

Lucas claimed by Texas; Valdespin to Triple-A

MIAMI -- Ed Lucas, dependable in a utility role the past two seasons for the Marlins, was claimed off waivers Friday by the Rangers.

Also on Friday, Miami outrighted infielder Jordany Valdespin to Triple-A New Orleans.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Samson sees Marlins trending upward for 2015

Fifteen-game bump and fan interest has team president feeling confident

Samson sees Marlins trending upward for 2015

MIAMI -- After years of uncertainty, the Marlins firmly believe they are entering an era of stability. The product on the field improved by 15 games in 2014, and the perception around the community is changing, reflected by increased season-ticket renewal numbers and more overall interest in the club.

"I think it really is the Marlins' time in Miami to shine," team president David Samson said. "We have a unique opportunity right now. We are truly getting better off the field and on the field at the same rate. That's what is so exciting to me."

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Versatile Marlins may look to shuffle players' roles in 2015

Versatile Marlins may look to shuffle players' roles in 2015

MIAMI -- In the National League, where pitching changes and double-switches are common, the Marlins realize the importance of versatility. The more roles a player can assume, the more options it presents to manager Mike Redmond.

Miami's front office continues to put an emphasis on building a roster with players who can adapt to various situations. Currently, on the 40-man roster, there are a handful of players who may find themselves in different spots in 2015.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Fernandez practicing patience with throwing program

Ace says he's 'never felt this good,' but wants to avoid reinjuring elbow

Fernandez practicing patience with throwing program

MIAMI -- Balancing progress with patience will be one of Jose Fernandez's biggest challenges as he comes back from Tommy John surgery. The 22-year-old isn't planning on rushing anything on his road to recovery.

"Going with the flow" may be easier said than done for the energetic Miami ace. But he's following doctors' orders in his throwing program, which continued with 25 light tosses off flat ground on Friday afternoon at Marlins Park. He started off with 10 lobs at 30 feet to trainer Sean Cunningham. He ended his 10-minute session at 45 feet.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Right-hander Beckett announces plans to retire

Nursing hip injury, veteran ends 14-year career that includes Series MVP, no-hitter

Right-hander Beckett announces plans to retire

ST. LOUIS -- Dodgers pitcher Josh Beckett, who threw a no-hitter in May but was on the disabled list for most of the last three months of the season, announced his retirement after the team was eliminated from the National League Division Series in a 3-2 loss in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

Beckett's season ended with torn labrum in his left hip. He said he will undergo surgery in May. Although many pitchers return from the arthroscopic operation and the resulting three-month rehab, Beckett said that's not in his plans.

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Marlins prospect DeSclafani sparkles in AFL start

Baseball's top prospect Buxton goes 1-for-4 for Salt River

Marlins prospect DeSclafani sparkles in AFL start

While many of his Salt River teammates got to rest during September between the end of the Minor League season and the start of the Arizona Fall League, right-hander Anthony DeSclafani was busy working out of the Marlins bullpen. He pitched in six games, ending the season with 5 1/3 scoreless innings over five appearances.

Saturday, DeSclafani returned to his typical role as a starter, as Salt River visited Glendale. He held the Desert Dogs to one run in three innings and the Rafters went on to win, 2-1. Since an Opening Day loss, they have won four straight games.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Stars of tomorrow ready to shine as '14 AFL season begins

Over its 23-year history, the Arizona Fall League has developed a reputation as a finishing school for baseball's top prospects. This year, once again, many of the game's best young players will gather in the desert, hoping to prove themselves in the same league that helped catapult Derek Jeter, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Trout to stardom.

When the AFL opens play Tuesday, the concentration of talent will again be readily apparent. Two of the three Opening Day games feature premium pitching matchups, and the third game is highlighted by two of the best shortstops in the Minor Leagues.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Prospect Kolek motivated by success of Draft 'mate

Impressed by Finnegan's AL Wild Card Game contribution, righty eyes bigs

Prospect Kolek motivated by success of Draft 'mate

MIAMI -- As Brandon Finnegan was dazzling for the Royals in the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday night, Tyler Kolek was preparing for his final Instructional League start in the Marlins' system. The two pitchers share a common tie in they were first-round picks in June's First-Year Player Draft.

Their current paths also are a reminder that every prospect is on a different time clock. The 21-year-old Finnegan pitched for Texas Christian University a few months ago in the College World Series, while Kolek, 18, was overpowering prep players at Shepherd High School in Texas.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Continuity key as Marlins continue to rebuild

Continuity key as Marlins continue to rebuild

MIAMI -- Extending manager Mike Redmond's contract through 2017 was a big step toward establishing organizational stability. Not that the Marlins were considering a change, but without a new deal, the issue would have lingered into next season.

The Marlins made a 15-win jump in 2014, and after finishing 77-85, they are trending in the right direction. The last thing they wanted was to create doubt about the future of their manager, initially signed through 2015. With Redmond locked up, the front office can now focus on maintaining continuity in other areas.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Changing clubhouse culture put Marlins on cusp in '14

Injuries to Fernandez, Stanton were setbacks, but Miami still contended late

Changing clubhouse culture put Marlins on cusp in '14

MIAMI -- Change the culture and ultimately you can change the results. The Marlins steadfastly stuck to that message, first in assembling their 2014 squad and secondly in how they went about their business on a daily basis this year.

It's hard to argue with the plan, because when looking at the big picture, Miami's mission was accomplished. A cynic can certainly argue that little actually changed in the club's fifth straight losing season. But a realist can see the dramatic improvement in one year and the fact that the organization is clearly trending toward playoff contention.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Stanton wins first NL homer crown in Marlins history

Despite missing last 17 games of season, slugger paced league with 37

Stanton wins first NL homer crown in Marlins history

WASHINGTON -- Missing the final 17 games did not cost Giancarlo Stanton a chance to become the first player in Marlins history to win the National League home run crown.

Stanton's 37 homers held up by a sizable margin, as he ended up pacing the league. Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, who homered on Sunday, finished second with 32.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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This time, Marlins on wrong side of last-day history

Zimmermann hurls no-no; Alvarez on losing end a year after his feat

This time, Marlins on wrong side of last-day history

WASHINGTON -- Fate came full circle for Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins on Sunday afternoon. This time, Alvarez was on the losing end of a season-finale no-hitter.

Jordan Zimmermann etched his place in MLB history by tossing a final game no-hitter in Washington's 1-0 victory over the Marlins in front of 35,085 fans at Nationals Park.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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