Originally written on MarlinsBaseball.com  |  Last updated 3/17/12

The Miami Marlins played two games on Saturday in split squad contests against the Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins.   The Marlins tied the Nationals 1-1 in nine innings of play while the Twins took the other game 5-2.     After being shutout on Friday, the three runs in Saturday’s games gives an ice cold offense a total of three runs in their last 27 innings of play.

Tom Koehler started the game against the Nationals and went two and two third innings allowing one run on two hits while walking three and striking out one.    The prospect who is in his first Spring as a member of the 40-man roster is expected to head to AAA to begin the year but should see a chance in the big leagues at some point in 2012.  Steve Cishek, Alex Sanabia, Robert Ray, and Sandy Rosario picked up the bulk of the pitching for Miami.   Once again the bullpen was strong going six and a third scoreless innings combined.

John Buck put together one of the few bright spots for the Marlins’ lineup against the Nationals by going 2-3 with a double with a run batted in.    The solid Spring for Donovan Solano continued as well as he too went 2-3 to lift his average to .409 in the Grapefruit League.  The non-roster invitee has been seeing a  great amount of playing time thus far.

In the game against the Twins, Ricky Nolasco made the start and lasted five innings.   It was the longest start for a Marlins’ starter thus far this Spring and Nolasco shined in those innings.    The veteran struck out three and allowed only one run via a Danny Valencia homerun.    Edward Mujica worked the sixth inning in scoreless fashion.  Heath Bell continued his solid Spring with another scoreless inning, his fourth in four chances.     It was not all good news for the pitchers however as Elih Villanueva struggled allowing three runs on five hits while only retiring one batter.

Hanley Ramirez hit his second homerun of the Spring in the game against the Twins.  The All-Star shortstop who is vying for a comeback season after a lackluster 2011 is hitting .474 in the Grapefruit League and appears to be having a lot of fun at the same time.  Ramirez is playing loose and a lot of that can be attributed to Jose Reyes.    Omar Infante continued his solid Spring as well going 2-3.    Aaron Rowand went 1-4 as his chances of making the team continued to diminish.

On Sunday, the Marlins and Cardinals will play each other once again with Carlos Zambrano scheduled to start for Miami.   Starting for the Cardinals will be Adam Wainwright.

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