JUPITER, Fla. -- It was just a simulated game, but if the Marlins actually kept score, Steve Cishek would have notched his first save of Spring Training.
The Marlins closer faced four batters in a scoreless inning, recording one strikeout and one walk. For the most part, the sidearm slinging right-hander was sharp. He kept the ball down, induced some weak contact and threw strikes.
Even though Cishek is a closer who is focused on saving games, Tuesday's performance was a personal victory in many ways, mainly because it was his first time facing hitters since camp opened on Feb. 16.
Early on, he missed a few days due to a stiff neck, which occurred by sleeping awkwardly.
Ozuna flied out to left, Saltalamacchia struck out on a slider. Stanton drew a walk, and Hechavarria tapped to third.
"I threw a lot of splits today against righties and lefties," Cishek said. "One that was terrible, the one I threw to Stanton that was in the dirt."
Before striking out Saltalamacchia, Cishek had a slider get away that caused Saltalamacchia to leap out of the way.
It was also encouraging that Cishek kept the ball down.
"That's my bread and butter; keep it down," Cishek said. "It was a good first one."
A year ago, Cishek posted a 2.33 ERA and he saved 34 of 36 chances.
Starting off the spring treating a stiff neck made Cishek eager to face hitters.
"I was just antsy," Cishek said. "This offseason went by quickly. After three weeks, I was ready to see some hitters again and just battle. It was definitely a lot of fun."