By Christina De Nicola and Steve Wilaj
MIAMI -- Propelled by Derek Dietrich's go-ahead home run in the seventh, the Marlins snuck by the Yankees, 2-1, on Monday at Marlins Park. Dietrich's first long ball of the season followed seven strong innings from righty Tom Koehler, who allowed just one run as he outdueled Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka, who surrendered only two.
"I know I say the same word every time, but he's just gritty and he's gutty and he battles through," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of Koehler. "He had his curveball working out there and worked both sides of the plate. He grinded through seven innings and gave us everything he had."
The Yankees jumped ahead in the second inning when Mark Teixeira blasted a solo home run for his 18th of the season. But Miami answered immediately with an Adeiny Hechavarria RBI single in the bottom of the frame.
The starting pitchers kept the score intact until the seventh when Dietrich, leading off, connected on a 2-0 pitch and sent it over the right-field fence. Miami's Carter Capps then struck out the side in the eighth and Yankees righty Sergio Santosescaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the bottom half before Marlins closer A.J. Ramos earned his ninth save of the year, getting pinch-hitter Alex Rodriguez to fly out to end the game.
"Tanaka, what a great pitcher," Dietrich said. "And it's against the Yankees -- I watched Derek Jeter growing up and it was always a team on my mind. Regardless who [the homer] was off, just to help get us a win is always special."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Dietrich delivers: In his first start of the season, Dietrich -- just called up from Triple-A on Friday -- showed what makes him so valuable to the Marlins. With the game tied in the seventh, the left-handed hitter launched a solo home run down the right-field line to lead off the inning. It marked the first homer of the season for Dietrich and the 15th of his Major League career. He also hit a double in the second inning and scored the Marlins' first run.
"It was a 2-0 fastball," Dietrich said of his home run. "He was throwing a lot of stuff down in the zone and the M.O. of our team is to try to get him up. … I was able to do that." More >
Tanaka limits the damage: Since returning from the disabled list, Tanaka had gone at least seven innings in each of his two starts. Monday proved to be no different. Aside from Hechavarria's RBI single in the second and Dietrich's solo blast in the seventh, Tanaka scattered nine hits and stranded six runners while striking out six. His ERA is 1.71 in June.
"He gave up a lot of [hits] early and then kind of settled down," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "That's probably missing a few spots, [a] slow roller. That sort of thing. Then he seemed to really settle in nicely. I did like that."
Koehler cruises: Other than allowing a second-inning homer to Teixeira, Koehler had little trouble in seven innings vs. the Yankees' offense. He allowed just one run and three hits on 101 pitches while striking out five. He was helped out by a terrific sliding play by Dee Gordon to end the seventh inning and strand a runner on base. More >
Playing by National League rules: In a closely-contested game without the benefit of the designated hitter, Tanaka found himself at the plate for the first time this season with the go-ahead runner at third with two outs in the fifth. Tanaka -- 1-for-9 in his career -- struck out looking against Koehler.
"I thought going into the game -- since it's a different Yankee team that I grew up watching -- that maybe the adrenaline and the nerves wouldn't be there. But they were." -- Koehler, on facing the Yankees, his childhood favorite team
"Just got to kind of tip your hat to him. He got two hits off of me. Just have to tip your hat to his good batting." -- Tanaka, on facing Ichiro Suzuki, a former teammate and fellow Japanese legend
The Yankees challenged the original safe call on a pickoff attempt during the seventh inning. Tanaka threw over to first and Teixeira applied the tag on Hechavarria, who dove back to the base. After a review of one minute and seven seconds, the call was overturned for the first out of the frame.
WHAT'S NEXT Yankees: Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (5-1, 4.13 ERA), dealt by the Marlins last offseason, starts Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. ET matchup. In his last outing, he allowed three runs over seven innings in a no-decision against the Nationals. Eovaldi has gone 6-14 with a 4.12 ERA in 32 starts at Marlins Park.
Marlins: In his first outing against the Yankees since being traded from New York in the December trade for Eovaldi, righty David Phelps (3-3, 4.11 ERA) takes the mound as he tries to stay hot. In his last start, he logged a career-high eight scoreless innings in a victory.