Well, that was something.
In a wild contest that netted 36 total hits, the Miami Marlins defeated the Atlanta Braves on Friday night by a final score of 12-11. The game featured three wild and distinct momentum swings, including a barrage of offense against one of the game's best pitchers, but in the end, the home team managed to hold on for a series-opening victory.
It was Atlanta that struck first on this night, and it didn't take long. Nick Markakis blasted a home run to lead off the game, and the Braves produced four runs on five hits in the first inning against Jose Fernandez. Unfortunately, that was the last lead that the road team would hold, as Fernandez settled down and the Marlins offense woke up.
After that four-run spurt, the Marlins scored 11 unanswered runs (not a misprint) over a four-inning stretch, and they used 17 hits to do it. Justin Bour's three-run home run against Ryan Weber was the single biggest blow, but Miami's offense teed off against Weber (9 hits, 7 ER in 2 innings) and Sugar Ray Marimon (6 hits, 4 ER in a single inning) to claim an 11-4 lead that they would never relinquish.
The Braves would, however, respond in a big way to make things quite interesting. Atlanta came back with two runs, by nature of an RBI double from Andrelton Simmons and a sacrifice fly from Cameron Maybin, in the fifth inning, and Freddie Freeman pounded a two-run home run in the seventh inning to climb within a four-run deficit at 12-8. Later, the Braves would really challenge the Marlins with three runs in the eighth, but Simmons struck out with the bases loaded and one out in the inning and Maybin grounded out to end the best chance that the team would have to reclaim the advantage.
With a 12-11 lead, Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos would close things out by allowing only one hit in the ninth, and that was that. In total, the two teams used 14 pitchers (seven each) to navigate the nine innings, and it wasn't the best advertisement for quality pitching. Still, the Marlins made enough plays early in the game to grab the victory, and not even a rare barrage of offense from Atlanta could get it done on the scoreboard.
The same two teams will be back on the field again on Saturday night, and if what transpires is anything approaching what happened on Friday, it will be an entertaining product.