JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Ty Wigginton hit a solo home run and the Miami Marlins beat Florida International 9-5 on Thursday.
The Marlins won both games against local college teams. They beat the University of Miami 5-2 Wednesday.
Wigginton, a former All-Star who played 47 games for St. Louis last season, homered in the second inning. The 12-year veteran joined the Marlins as a non-roster invitee to camp.
Austin Nola’s three-run double highlighted a six-run sixth.
Marlins starter Justin Nicolino didn’t make it out of the second. FIU tagged him for five runs and seven hits in 1 2-3 innings.
Pablo Ozuna, the lone expected opening day starter in the lineup for the Marlins, went 0 for 2 in three innings.
Marlins right fielder Matt Angle made the play of the game. After the Panthers scored twice in the first inning and put runners on second and third with two outs,
Louis Silverado lifted a fly ball down the line. Angle jumped over the hip-high wall in foul territory, caught the ball while in the air, then landed on a berm that is usually filled with fans.
Josh Anderson drove in three runs for FIU with a double and a single.
Marlins: Nicolino has yet to make his major league debut, but manager Mike Redmond is quite familiar with the 22-year-old lefty. Redmond managed Nicolino in the minor leagues when both were in the Toronto system. “He’s got good stuff,” Redmond said. “I love his makeup. He’s a competitor.”
FIU: Chris Mourelle allowed three runs on three hits and a walk while striking out four in four innings. A freshman out of Miami-Southwest High School, Mourelle worked on three days’ rest after earning a win in relief over Stony Brook on Sunday.
Redmond said the infected area in starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez’s right leg continues to improve. Alvarez had the infection drained on Tuesday and was walking with the aid of crutches on Wednesday. Hernandez didn’t need the crutches on when Redmond saw him on Thursday.
“I think he is supposed to be walking on them but he was carrying them, so I took that as a good sign,” Redmond said.
Redmond said second baseman Rafael Furcal won’t appear in the lineup until Saturday. Furcal isn’t injured, but the Marlins don’t want to push him too early given his recent injury history.
TRYING TO SURVIVE
The new season of CBS-TV’s “Survivor: Cagayan” premiered on Thursday night and included Marlins President David Samson as a contestant. If the first episode could be considered spring training, Samson didn’t make it to opening day. He was the first competitor kicked off the island. Still, Redmond applauded Samson’s effort, saying “I think it’s neat. …I’m sure it was a great experience for him.”
Redmond doesn’t believe MLB’s new replay system will completely eliminate on-field arguments. He envisions scenarios such as balls-and-strikes disputes, bang-bang plays that occur after teams have exhausted their challenges, and times when emotion simply takes over where managers will want to confront umpires. “I still think there is plenty of stuff to argue out there,” Redmond said. “They may not be all heated arguments but there will still be some discussions out there.”
Ace Jose Fernandez will take the mound for the Marlins on Friday when they open their official Grapefruit League schedule against the Cardinals. Carlos Martinez draws the start for St. Louis.